Coca-Cola Enterprises reports Q4 net earnings of US$113M, up 17% from year-ago period on increased prices, strong growth for energy drinks; annual earnings up 23% to US$8.28B

ATLANTA , February 9, 2012 () – Coca-Cola Enterprises, which bottles the soda company's products in Europe, said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income rose 17 percent on increased prices and strong growth for energy drinks.

The Atlanta company earned $113 million, or 36 cents per share, compared with $97 million, or 28 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier and revenue increased 6 percent to $1.89 billion, matching expectations on Wall Street.

Rising costs have forced Coca-Cola Enterprises and other companies in the food and beverage sector to bump up their prices. Net pricing per case rose 2.5 percent in the quarter, with volume up 3 percent.

The volume of energy drinks rose by more than 40 percent for the year, led by Monster and the introduction of Powerade Energy in Great Britain. Coca-Cola trademark brands reported a 3.5 percent volume increase. Capri Sun and Ocean Spray also performed well.

Coca-Cola Enterprises anticipates its 2012 earnings per share will climb about 10 percent, which accounts for France's recent tax increase. This implies adjusted earnings of approximately $2.40 per share, compared with analyst predictions of $2.27, according to a poll by FactSet.

The company had previously predicted that 2012 earnings per share would rise 10 percent to 12 percent, with a mid-single-digit to high-single-digit percentage increase in revenue. That outlook did not include the possible impact of France's tax increase.

Full-year earnings for 2011 climbed 20 percent to $749 million, or $2.29 per share, from $624 million, or $1.83 per share, in the previous year.

Adjusted earnings were $2.18 per share.

Annual revenue increased 23 percent to $8.28 billion from $6.71 billion.

Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., dipped 5 cents to $27.40 in premarket trading.

Both Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. are trying to gain more control over their bottlers and distributors, hoping to get new drinks on shelves more quickly to keep up with changing tastes. Last year, Coca-Cola bought Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.'s North American bottling operations for $3.4 billion.

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