Coca-Cola Co. said on Thursday that it was raising its quarterly dividend by 8 percent to 41 cents a share from 38 cents.

The increase reflects the board's confidence in the company's long-term cash flow, Coca-Cola said in a statement. Some $4.6 billion was returned to shareholders last year, the company said, $3.5 billion of which was in dividends.

The dividend is payable April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 15, the company said.

Also Thursday, Coca-Cola elected Javier Goizueta vice president of the company. Goizueta, who is president of the company's McDonald's division, is charged with building Coke's alliance with McDonald's Corp.

(Reporting by Alexandria Sage; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)