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US: Coke declares dividend, reduces board numbers

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The board of directors of The Coca-Cola Company yesterday raised its quarterly dividend 12% from 25 cents to 28 cents per common share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of US$1.12 per share, up from US$1 per share in 2004.
 
The dividend is payable April 1, 2005, to shareowners of record as of March 15, 2005.

A statement said: "This reflects the board's confidence in the company's long-term cash flow. In 2004, the company generated US$6 billion in cash from operations - a 9% increase over 2003. The company returned more than US$4 billion of that to shareowners, through US$2.4 billion in dividends and US$1.7 billion in share repurchase."

Separately, the board reduced the number of members comprising the whole board of directors to 14, effective immediately prior to the 2005 Annual Meeting of shareowners.

As announced in January, director Robert L. Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO of The Home Depot, decided not to stand for reelection to the board. The board will consist of 14 Directors when Nardelli's term expires on April 19, 2005.


Sectors: Soft drinks

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