Coca-Cola HBC’s sales in Romania amounted to €500 million in 2009, after 15.1% growth a year earlier. Coca-Cola HBC reported a turnover at 2008 level, namely 2 billion lei profit (€551 million), and an after-tax profit of 243,723,975 lei (€66.2 million), according to data posted on the website of the Ministry of Finance.

“The economic environment remains challenging, while unemployment rates continue to go up. However, we reaffirm our positive view on the local market, with focus on investments in maximizing the effectiveness of our operations aimed at providing support to the company’s future development”, Coca-Cola Hellenic officials said in a statement.

As for Coca-Cola’s operations in Ukraine, sales fell 7%, in Poland, sales dropped 2% and in Hungary – 5%, due to the introduction of new taxes, rising unemployment rates and declining incomes.

“The economic environment will remain difficult over the first half of 2010, as consumption is not expected to pick up in the majority of the markets we run operations. Therefore, we expect a better performance in terms of profitability in the second half of the year”, the soft-drink maker said.

Coca-Cola’s global sales dropped 6% in 2009 from a year earlier, while net profit decreased by 3% to €437 million.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Romania underwent a wide-ranging restructuring program in 2009 that lead to the shutdown of the bottling facility in Iasi. In 2008, the company closed its plant in Oradea. For the time being, the bottler only holds three facilities in Romania - Ploiesti, Timisoara and Poiana Negri.