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Coca-Cola profit beats forecasts

Apr 17 2012 14:41 Reuters

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COCA-Cola reported higher-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday after the world’s largest soft drink maker raised some prices and sold more beverages.

The maker of Sprite, Minute Maid orange juice and vitaminwater also said it was on track with a productivity programme aiming to save $550m to $650m a year by the end of 2015.

Coke shares rose 1% to $73.18 per share in premarket trading.

Soft drink sales have been strong in developing markets such as India and China with increasing numbers of middle class consumers. But growth has been harder to come by in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America, where growing health consciousness and struggling economies have curbed demand.

Still, Coke said quarterly volume rose 2% in North America and 1% in Europe. Volume also rose 5% in Latin America, 9% in Eurasia and Africa and 8% in the Pacific region. Overall, volume rose 5%.

First-quarter net profit was $2.05bn or 89 cents per share, up from $1.90bn or 82c/share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 6% to $11.14bn.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 87c/share on revenue of $10.82bn, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the key North American market revenue rose 5%, helped by a 3 percentage-point increase in price and mix of products and the acquisition of a small bottler. Profit in the segment declined though, due to higher commodity costs and one less selling day.
coca-cola  |  consumer spending
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