Greek Coke bottler says creates COO post

ATHENS, July 2 Thu Jul 2, 2009 1:19pm BST

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ATHENS, July 2 (Reuters) - Greek Coke bottler Coca-Cola Hellenic (CCH) HLBr.AT created a chief operating officer (COO) position and appointed its former region director to the post, the company said on Thursday.

The world's second-largest bottler of Coca-Cola (KO.N) products said Dimitris Lois will take up the COO position from August 1.

Lois joined CCH in 2007 and has served as a region director, responsible for several key markets of the bottler, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova, Nigeria and Romania.

"His (Lois') new role will be important in accelerating the execution of key strategic priorities and will enable us to maximise opportunities..." CCH's managing director Doros Constantinou said in a statement.

Recession has been hitting CCH's sales volume but the firm is investing in its brand and has increased prices to cope with the downturn.

Last month, the bottler said the poor consumer trend seen in the first quarter continued into April and May, although it managed to gain market share in many countries.

In a separate announcement, CCH said current general manager for Russia, Belarus and Armenia Keith Sanders will replace Lois. Sanders has been working within the Coca-Cola system since 1992 and joined CCH in 2004.

The stock trades 14.2 times its estimated 2009 earnings compared to a 12.8-times multiple for peer Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE.N).

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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