Coca-Cola income down 10% in quarter

by Staff
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ATLANTA — As the result of restructuring changes and write-downs, income at The Coca-Cola Co. was down 10% in the first quarter ended April 3. Income of $1,348 million, equal to 58c per share on the common stock, compared with $1,500 million, equal to 65c per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Net operating revenue for the quarter was $7,169 million, down 3% from $7,379 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"While the global economic environment remains challenging, we are well-positioned for long-term growth," said Muhtar Kent, president and chief executive officer. "Our business was built for times like these. We again exceeded our long-term profit target and delivered solid volume results. Importantly, in many worldwide markets, we outperformed the nonalcoholic ready-to-drink industry, driving further volume and value share gains.

"I am confident that, armed with strong brands and solid business fundamentals, our experienced management team will continue delivering against our long-term targets."

In North America, operating income increased 32% for the quarter and net revenue increased 8%. The increase in operating income was the result of the increase in net revenue, continued investment in marketing programs and a benefit from productivity initiatives and incentive costs.

The company said as a whole it is on track to deliver $500 million in annualized savings from productivity initiatives by the end of 2011.

"Our strong foundation, consistent set of strategic priorities and alignment with our invaluable bottling partners were drivers of our continued success this quarter," Mr. Kent said. "Our system . . . is now more aligned and more capable of creating value for our consumers, our customers and our shareowners.

"All of this provides us confidence that The Coca-Cola Co. will continue to deliver consistent, long-term sustainable growth and with great resolve will come out of this tumultuous period much better than when we entered."

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