Coca-Cola HBC net profit jumped 24% to €426m in 2017 from €343.5m in the prior year as higher operating profitability and lower finance costs offset increased taxes. Net sales revenue rose 5.9% on a currency neutral basis to €6.52bn from €6.16bn in the previous year, supported by price increases in its emerging segment and better package and category mix. Volumes were up 2.2% to €2.10bn from 2016 amid good momentum in the company's emerging and developing segment despite lower volumes reported in Nigeria and Russia. The growth in both sparking and still drinks was also highlighted as supportive factor. Comparable EBIT rose 20.0% to €621m as comparable EBIT margin grew 120 basis points to 9.5% and reported margin grew 90 basis points to 9.0%. The company proposed a €0.54 dividend per share, a 23% increase on the 2016 dividend. Zoran Bogdanovic, Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola HBC AG, said: 'I am fortunate to have taken over a business performing well and with a clear strategic direction. 2017 was an exceptional year for us, and we are delighted to have delivered strong growth in volume, revenue and margin, overall demonstrating significant progress towards our 2020 objectives.' 'We are excited about the year ahead, which has a particularly strong pipeline of product innovation and commercial activity around our route to market and in-store execution. There is good momentum in the business and a determination to build on our success. We are confident that 2018 will be another successful year.'
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