Global soft drink giant The Coca-Cola Company has announced it is to invest US$50m in the expansion and up-scaling of its bottling lines across Kenya.

The investment, one of the largest capital investments made by Coca-Cola in Kenya in any single year so far, expresses the company's confidence in its economy, Adeola Adetunji, general manager East Africa franchise said yesterday (8 May).

"Our contribution to Kenya's social and economic development is long-term and deliberate, hence our level of capital investment in the country", said Adetunji.

The company said it sees Kenya as a viable investment destination and in the long term is confident its investment will yield positive returns.

"We are confident about the future prospects of doing business in Kenya. The Coca-Cola East & Central Africa business runs 27 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Kenya is the regional hub for our business in this region. Long term growth prospects in the country can be seen," said a spokesperson for Coca-Cola.

Although the business in Kenya was adversely affected by the post election violence, the drinks giant said it was pleased it could see progressive stability in its operating landscape.

Daryl Wilson, managing director of Nairobi Bottlers said that the new bottling lines will enhance capacity, increase production efficiency and ensure improved packaging.

"This latest investment will give us the ability to provide the very best quality beverages though out the year and will also seek to maintain our position as a world-class manufacturer," he said.

The company said staff are currently being trained on how to handle the new machinery ahead of the commissioning and is expected to be operational later this year.

This week Coca-Cola confirmed it had signed a letter of intent to acquire a number of water and energy drink brands in Denmark and Finland from regional bottling partner Carlsberg.

The brands include Kildevaeld, Kurvand and Ramlosa in Denmark, the soft drink Hyvaa Paivaa and energy drink Battery in Finland.