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Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE), the largest bottler of Coca-Cola Co. drinks, yesterday announced a new financial agreement with Coke, which its chief executive said effectively eliminates the bottler's funding hurdles for the next two years.
Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is about 40-percent owned by Coke, also outlined its pricing plans and earnings prospects for 2002 and said 2001 results are now expected to be not as bad as previously forecast.
Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lowry Kline, speaking at a meeting with analysts and investors, said Coke and Coke Enterprises will share in the risks and rewards of the financial deal.
Relations between Coke and its bottlers had been strained recently by the soft drink giant's decision to hike prices for concentrate, the key ingredient used to make soft drinks, Reuters reported.
According to the multi-year agreement with Coke, consideration will be given to wholesale price increases when setting future concentrate price adjustments. The funding that CCE receives from Coke, which was expected to decline, will remain stable for 2002 and 2003, the report said.