Income at Coca-Cola climbs in first quarter

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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ATLANTA — For the first quarter ended Mar. 31 income at the Coca-Cola Co. totaled $1,106,000, equal to 47c per share on the common stock, up 10% from $1,002,000, or 42c per share, in the same period last year.

Net revenue for the quarter held steady, totaling $5,226,000, compared with $5,206,000 for the same period last year.

The company maintained share in the nonalcoholic ready-to-drink category, which is a reversal of the previous year’s trend. On a category basis, the company increased share in carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, juice and juice drinks and packaged water.

Coca-Cola Co.’s recent introductions of Coca-Cola Blak, Zero, Tab Energy, Dasani Sensations and Simply Lemonade, as well as the launch of its fully-integrated, cross-media campaign, "The Coke Side of Life" should continue to grow its business, said Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer.

"This quarter underscores that we are on track to deliver on our long-term growth targets," Mr. Isdell said. "Spurred by innovation and execution in key markets and increasing success in stabilizing some challenging ones, we effectively balanced results across our global operations to deliver 5% volume growth — 3% in carbonated and 11% in noncarbonated beverages — ahead of our long-term target."

Operating income in North America grew 24%, behind the strength of sales of Powerade and energy drinks, as well as stock option expenses.

Operating income in the European Union fell 11% as gallon sales decreased and case volume declined in Germany

In North Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East, operating income fell 22% due to an unfavorable currency impact and a decline in the Georgia coffee business in Japan.

Operating income in Latin America rose 26%, reflecting net revenue growth of 22% and operating and marketing expense leverage.

In East, South Asia and the Pacific Rim, operating income rose 22%, as declines in India and the Philippines were offset by growth in Australia, partially due to the successful launch there of Coca-Cola Zero.

In Africa, operating income rose 14%, partially due to the benefit from the cycling of higher operating expenses in the previous year.

In the first quarter the company repurchased $499 million of its stock and intends to repurchase $2 billion to $2.5 billion of its stock for the full year.

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