Increased sales volumes helped Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the UK arm of the global soft drinks company, report a 6.5% rise in pre-tax profit in 2010. The company sold an extra 3.8m cases in the year to 31 December 2010, with 243.9m cases sold in total. Turnover for the year was up 3% to £1,668m. Pre-tax profit was £254.7m (2009: £239.058m), with operating profit up 6% to £252.222m, the company reported in its latest accounts filed at Companies House. CCE said: “The company experienced strong growth in the multiple retail and wholesale sectors. Full service vending volume declined due to the economic climate and consumer trends.” Gross profit was roughly flat, up just over £2m to £620.052m, due to “channel mix between retail and wholesale”. Shareholders’ funds increased 17% to £558.541m, partly due to an increased cash injection into its defined benefits pension scheme - £17m, against £12.8m in 2009. Staff costs increased by a small proportion to £199.958m (2009: £199.124m). This is despite CCE employing 101 fewer staff on average over the year - average staff numbers fell 2%, from 4,842 to 4,741. Directors’ remuneration increased from £2.042m to £2.088m in 2010. Salary for the highest paid director fell from £706,000 to £591,000. The company paid total dividends of £143m (2009: £148.655m). Explaining its future priorities, CCE said: “The company is committed to building and expanding our brand portfolio, strengthening our core sparkling beverages through efforts such as our ‘Red, Black and Silver’ three-cola initiative, whilst recognising the need and desire to develop initiatives in the non-carbonated sector.” The company listed the principle risks for the year ahead as being an increase in the cost of raw materials, being unable to “respond successfully to changes in the market place”, concerns over the economy and reduced demand due to concerns about health. In addition, a decision by parent company The Cola-Cola Company not to renew its current fixed-term product licensing agreement “could substantially and adversely affect our financial results”.

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