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Coca-Cola profit slides 55%

Feb 10 2015 20:00

Washington - Consumers' declining thirst for sugary drinks continues to hurt Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage maker, which on Tuesday said its profit in the fourth quarter dropped 55%.

Net income in the three months ended December 31 dropped to $770m compared with $1.7bn in the quarter one year earlier. Net income at the beverage maker for all of 2014 was down 17% to $7bn, the company said.

Revenue sank 2% to $10.9bn in the quarter and 2% for all of 2014 to $45.9bn.

Coca-Cola has struggled with changing tastes toward sweet and fizzy drinks, especially in North America and Europe. A stronger dollar has added to these woes in particular because the US company makes a large portion of its profit from its business outside the United States.

Despite the numbers Coca-cola said it saw some early positive signs in the fourth quarter results, which point to progress in a belt-tightening programme announced in October.

The company said it was confident it had the right strategies in place and would continue to focus on growth. However, 2015 is seen as a transition year as "the benefits from the announced initiatives will take time to materialize," chief executive Muhtar Kent said.

Coca-Cola has added the brands Gold Peak tea, Fuze Tea and I Lohas mineral water to its portfolio.

It said they brought to 20 the number of billion-dollar brands in the Coca-Cola family. In August Coca-Cola entered the lucrative energy drinks market by purchasing part of the California company Monster Beverages.

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