HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE TWELVE MONTHS · Volume of 1,413 million unit cases, 4% ahead of 2003,

· Underlying2 EBITDA1 of €730 million (reported €684 million), 10% ahead of 2003,

· Underlying2 operating profit (EBIT) of €334 million (reported €260 million), 22% above 2003,

· Underlying2 net profit of €152 million (reported €112 million), 32% above prior year

FOURTH QUARTER HIGHLIGHTS

· Volume of 328 million unit cases, 3% ahead of 2003, (9% ahead on a like-for-like selling day basis), cycling 7% growth in the fourth quarter of 2003,

· Underlying2 EBITDA1 of €117 million (reported €71 million), 11% above 2003,

· Underlying2 operating profit (EBIT) of €9 million (reported operating loss €41 million) versus an underlying operating loss of €3 million in 2003,

· Underlying2 net loss of €26 million (reported net loss €66 million) from a net loss of €18 million in 2003

Doros Constantinou, Managing Director of Coca‑Cola HBC, commented:

‘I am pleased to report strong underlying earnings growth for Coca‑Cola HBC with continued margin expansion despite challenging trading conditions. Although volume was softer than planned, our volume to value strategy, including the pursuit of operational efficiency and better asset utilisation, resulted in improved underlying profitability and returns on invested capital.

Having completed a detailed review of our longer-term prospects, I am pleased to confirm that Coca‑Cola HBC is well positioned to continue on its successful path of delivering strong, sustainable organic profit growth. Near-term, we expect a rebound in volume growth from 2004 levels. Despite higher raw material costs in 2005, our revenue growth and other cost saving initiatives should allow us to maintain our current gross margins. Longer-term, we continue to see exciting prospects, as past and future investment provide a robust platform for growth. Our continuing focus on broadening our beverage portfolio and optimising our execution is expected to deliver strong growth from our markets, as it has done since our inception in 2000. In recognition of our future prospects, we are proposing to raise our dividend by 40% for 2004, and will look to maintain our dividends within a pay-out ratio of 20-30% which approximates a Dividend Per Share (DPS) increase of 5% per annum.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        15 February 2005

 

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