The Coca-Cola Co.'s largest bottler in Germany, Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetränke (CCE AG), is set to create 300 sales jobs in an attempt to boost its business.

CCE AG, which accounts for around 75% of Coke's sales in Germany, plans to add 300 employees to its sales force in the next 18 months. The jobs will boost the bottler's sales team by around 20%.

"We see major potential on the market for non alcoholic beverages which we want to tap by investing in our sales", said Damian Gammell, chief executive of CCE AG.

"Individual and ongoing customer service is an important feature with which we want to distinguish from our competitors. With more sales reps we can have an even more intensive customer contact and further enhance a traditional strength of the Coca-Cola business to grow our business."

Meanwhile, merger talks between Coke and seven independent bottlers in Germany are "still running", a Coke spokesman told just-drinks today (19 January) from Berlin.

Last year, CCE AG and the bottlers signed a letter of intent to merge in an attempt to drive efficiency across the network.

The spokesman gave no indication as to when the talks were expected to conclude.