The Coca-Cola Company's board has approved its quarterly dividend of 41 cents per common share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of US$1.64 per share, up from $1.52 per share in 2008.

The company said that the rise in quarterly dividend, up 8%, was the 47th consecutive increase.

It will be payable to shareowners of record as of 15 March 2009.

"The increase reflects the board's confidence in the company's long-term cash flow. The company returned $4.6 billion to shareowners in 2008, through $3.5 billion in dividends and $1.1 billion in share repurchases. In the past five years, the company's dividends have grown at a compound annual rate of more than 10%."

The board also elected Javier Goizueta as vice president of the company. Earlier this month, he was named president of The McDonald's Division. Goizueta succeeds Jerry Wilson, who was recently named the company's chief customer and commercial officer.