Source Pravda.Ru

Coca-Cola Enterprises 4Q income rises

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the bottler of Coca-Cola and its other soft drinks, announced fourth-quarter adjusted income rose to 142 million dollars. Excluding a restructuring charge, debt extinguishment costs and a tax benefit, net income was 29 cents per share, above the mean estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Financial of 27 cents per share.

On a net basis, the company earned 158 million dollars, or 32 cents per share, compared with a year-earlier loss of 1.71 billion dollars, or 3.59 dollars per share. The prior-year period included a non-cash impairment charge of 2.9 billion dollars, or 3.80 dollars per share.

Results were helped by volume and price growth in North America and Europe, lower operating expenses and a favorable tax rate, the company said.

A year earlier, the company posted adjusted income of 95 million dollars, or 20 cents per share.

Net operating revenue for the Atlanta-based beverage provider rose 10.5% to 5.3 billion dollars from 4.79 billion dollars a year earlier. Analysts, on average, estimated revenue of 5.14 billion dollars.

Coca-Cola Enterprises claimed its North America operations achieved comparable volume growth of 1% in the fourth quarter, and Europe achieved comparable volume growth of 4.5% in the quarter.

For 2008, the company expects revenue to increase in a high-single digit range and expects operating income to increase at the high end of its long-term target range of 5% to 6%.

Analysts, on average, forecast 2008 earnings of 1.52 dollar per share on revenue of 22.25 billion dollars.

Shares closed Monday at 23.49 dollars.