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Coca-Cola HBC Second-Quarter Profit Rises 17%

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, the world's second-largest Coke bottler outside the United States, said Thursday that second-quarter net profit rose 17% due to favorable weather conditions.

Profits were also helped by sales at the company's newly acquired Italian water unit, as well as the rollout of the new low-calorie drink Coke Zero.

For the three months to June 30, the company said net profit was 196.3 million euros ($270.8 million), compared with 167.8 million euros in the same period a year earlier. Revenues also rose by 17% to 1.84 billion euros ($2.54 billion) from 1.58 billion euros a year earlier.

The figures were slightly higher than analyst expectations of a 15% rise in net profit and a 13% rise in net sales revenue.

Last year, the company acquired Fonti Del Vulture, a water company in Italy, jointly with the Coca-Cola , as part of a three-year acquisition strategy to move into non-carbonated soft drink sales. It also acquired Fresh & Co, a fruit juice producer in Serbia, and Cypriot beverage maker Lanitis and Yoppi, a vending machine operator in Hungary.

Earlier this year, it said it would acquire Eurmatik S.r.l, a local vending operator in Italy.

The second quarter is traditionally the second most important for the company and, according to analyst estimates, accounts for roughly one-third of CCHBC's full-year operating profit.

CCHBC has operations in 28 countries with a market more than 540 million people.

Managing Director Doros Constantinou said in a statement that the company reported another strong quarter of robust volume growth and operating margin expansion, despite higher raw material costs and additional investment in sales.

Coca-Cola HBC shares closed Wednesday up 1.38 euro ($1.90), or 4.23%, at 34 euro ($46.90). Since the beginning of the year, the company's shares have risen 15.3% while the Athens Stock Exchange General Index rose 8.3%.

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