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BRIEFLY / BEVERAGES

Coca-Cola Announces Diversity Campaign

May 17, 2000|Reuters

Coca-Cola Co., embroiled in a bitter discrimination lawsuit with a group of black workers, announced a $1-billion diversity campaign to boost entrepreneurship and other business opportunities for minorities and women in the United States. The world's largest soft drink company said it would increase spending with minority and female-owned businesses by more than 50% to an average of $160 million a year during the next five years. Separately, Coca-Cola said it expects earnings per share in 2000 to be reduced by one cent due to a downward revision of expected earnings for bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., in which it holds a 40% stake. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $1.45 for the year. Coca-Cola Enterprises warned late Monday that earnings this year would fall well short of expectations, mainly due to weakness in the British market. On the NYSE, Coca-Cola fell $2.81 to close at $48.94, while Coca-Cola Enterprises plunged $5.38 to close at $16.

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