The board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company have approved the company's 47th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend approximately 8% from 38 cents to 41 cents per common share.

This is equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.64 per share, up from $1.52 per share in 2008. The dividend is payable 1 April 2009, 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 said.

The board also elected Javier Goizueta as vice president of the company. Earlier this month, he was named president of Coca-Cola's McDonald's division.

In this role, he will be responsible for building and strengthening the company's strategic alliance with McDonald's in 118 countries and over 31,000 restaurants. Goizueta succeeds Jerry Wilson, who was recently named the company's chief customer and commercial officer.

Since joining the company in 2001, Goizueta has served as vice president, USA within The McDonald's Division, vice president, Global Still Beverages Operations and Commercialisation, and vice president, Global New Business Models.