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COKE CONSOLIDATED ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN DIVIDENDS

 CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ-NMS: COKE) today announced that the board of directors intends to increase the company's quarterly dividend rate beginning in the first quarter of 1994. J. Frank Harrison III, vice chairman, said that the new quarterly dividend rate is anticipated to be $.25 for both classes of common stock. The increase is in recognition of the significant improvement in profitability during 1993, and displays the board's confidence in the future prospects for the company's performance.
 J. Frank Harrison III, commented that the company has been building upon a firm foundation over the past several years by growing internally, acquiring neighboring bottling territories and improving efficiencies. Harrison went on to say that earnings per share have grown by more than $1.60 during the first nine months of 1993 compared to the first nine months of 1992 and further growth is expected during the fourth quarter. In addition, Harrison said that a combination of strong internal cash flow and the joint venture transaction with The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) had reduced debt by $110 million or almost $12 per share during the first nine months of 1993. These improvements, combined with confidence in the company's future prospects were the basis for the board's action.
 The proposed increase will not affect the $.22 dividend declared on Nov. 10 for holders of record as of Nov. 26, 1993.
 -0- 12/8/93
 /CONTACT: Lauren C. Steele, Vice President-Corporate Affairs, of Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, 704-551-4551/
 (COKE KO)


CO: Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated ST: North Carolina IN: FOD SU: DIV

MM -- CH011 -- 1957 12/08/93 17:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 8, 1993
Words:274
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