The world's largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), has reaffirmed its 2002 forecasts, anticipating earnings per share of between US$1.15 and US$1.22 next year.

In a press release today, the company said that the confident outlook reflected stronger North American pricing and improved volume from new products and brand derivatives such as Vanilla Coke, diet Vanilla Coke and Minute Maid juice drinks.

Encouragingly for the company, 2003 North American physical case bottle and can volumes are expected to grow by 3%, while Europe will see 4-6% growth. The company predicts its European operations will show balanced volume and pricing growth next year.
"Our company has performed very well in 2002, and our goal for 2003 is to build on our solid volume and profit momentum," Chairman and Chief Executive Lowry F. Kline said in the statement.

Meanwhile 2002 earnings per share are estimated at between US$1 to US$1.03. Volume growth will be in the region of 3% in North America and 3% to 4% in Europe.