Coca-Cola’s strong quarter boosted by higher prices, China rebound

An employee arranges Coca-Cola bottles in a store. | Image Credit: Reuters

The Coca-Cola Co. reported higher-than-expected first-quarter sales as it continued to raise prices and saw its China business improve.

Revenue rose 5% to $11 billion for the January-March period, the company said April 24. That beat Wall Street expectations. Analysts polled by FactSet had forecast revenue of ₹10.8 billion.

Adjusted for one-time items, the Atlanta beverage giant earned 68 cents per share. It also beat analysts’ forecast of 65 cents.

Pricing and mix — which includes changes in package sizes — contributed 11% to its revenue growth while concentrate sales rose 1%. The company said it expects to see slower growth this year as prices moderate. Price and mix grew 12% in each of the past three quarters.

The unit’s caseload rose 10% in Asia as China’s COVID-related shutdowns ended. Coke said it has also grown its business in India by adding retail partners offering promotions on multi-packs.

In North America, sales were flat. Higher sales of soft drinks, juices and dairy were offset by lower sales of water, tea and coffee. Caseloads fell in Europe, where growth in some markets was offset by the suspension of business in Russia and the February earthquake in Turkey.

Operating income fell 1% as Coke invested heavily in marketing. The company announced in February that it was among the first to partner with artificial intelligence company Open AI and consulting firm Bain and Co. to experiment with ChatGPT and DALL-E in its marketing.

Last month, Coke launched a promotion that allowed customers to create digital art using material from the company’s archives. Coke also launched a campaign for its Smartwater brand targeting consumers using a geolocation app.

Coke shares rose 1% in premarket trading on April 24.

Author: Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar is a highly experienced financial expert with over 10 years of experience in banking and finance. He shares his insights on loans, finance, and business strategies through engaging articles on this Loan & Business site, offering practical advice for anyone seeking to improve their financial situation. Amit's mission is to empower his clients and readers to make informed financial decisions and achieve their financial goals.

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