Coca-Cola Hellenic said reports of a possible relocation were “just speculation introduced by the media”

Coca-Cola Hellenic said reports of a possible relocation were “just speculation introduced by the media”

Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) has denied reports that it may move its headquarters out of Greece, amid concerns over Government plans for a tax on soft drinks in the country.

A spokesperson for the Greek bottler told just-drinks today (26 May) that the reports of a possible relocation were "just speculation introduced by the media".

A soft drinks tax is one of a number of austerity measures expected to be announced by the Government in the next few weeks, aimed at helping Greece tackle its fiscal problems. The spokesperson for CCH told just-drinks that if implemented, the tax will have "a negative effect on the whole industry".

According to industry figures, doubling the price of soft-drinks could result in a 15% drop in demand.

However, the spokesperson said it will be difficult to gauge what impact the tax will have on CCH's business until specific details are released by the Government.

"It is very early to be able to quantify what effect [the tax] might have because we don't know which categories it is going to be applied to," the spokesperson told just-drinks. "Depending on which and how many categories it is going to be applied to, the effect is completely different."

The spokesperson added that the Government will also need to clarify the method through which the tax will be imposed.

"Is [the tax] going to be imposed in the same way that it is applied to tobacco products and alcoholic drinks or is it going to have a different format?" the spokesperson said. "Because if it is going to be the same format that is applied to alcoholic drinks, ie you put a stamp on it, then a lot of infrastructure needs to be built, with custom zones etc."

The spokesperson said the company is unclear as to how much the Government wants to raise through the tax and therefore, "there is no way for anybody to quantify the impact at this point".

Clarification is expected on the soft drinks tax in early June.