Coke hikes view on 2009 profits

COCA-COLA Enterprises raised its profit outlook for 2009 and said earnings should rise in a high single-digit percentage rate in 2010 as it works on drawing consumers to its drinks.

The largest bottler of Coca-Cola beverages said it planned to start repurchasing shares during the first quarter of 2010 and should buy back about $600m worth of the shares by the end of next year. It also aims to increase its dividend annually.

The company, which bottles and distributes drinks, has seen sales suffer as consumers avoid higher-priced drinks and cut back on dining out.