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just On Call - Coca-Cola Hellenic predicts cost pressures to ease this year

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Coca-Cola Hellenic's CFO says he expects input costs will ease for the group in 2013 after a 20% jump in the past two years.

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In a call with analysts today (16 May), Michalis Imellos suggested input costs will drop to low-single-digits by the end of the finanical year. In 2011, input costs per case increased by 14%, while last year growth stood at 6%.

In first-quarter results released today, Coca-Cola Hellenic saw a “marginal increase” in input costs because of higher EU sugar and aluminium prices. Despite the higher costs, CCH narrowed first-quarter losses by 16%, but sales and volumes remained flat in the traditionally small quarter.

Imellos declined to comment on whether growth will continue to slow next year, but said the company has taken steps to ensure more stable commodity costs. “We've taken advantage of a favourable window in terms of commodity prices, particularly in sugar and aluminium, and we have had our exposures already for 2014 in sugar and to an extent in aluminium,” he said. 

Meanwhile, CCH's chief executive, Dimitris Lois, echoed his Coca-Cola Co counterpart Muhtar Kent in calling for action in the fight against obesity.

Lois said he is “absolutely and fully committed to being part of the solution”. 

Kent this month launched Coca-Cola's global commitment pledge that promised to halt advertising to under-12s and print calorie counts on all products.


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