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Coca-Cola reports Q1 global cross-category growth

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, reported its solid first quarter 2012 results with strong volume and revenue growth as well as volume and value share gains across every non-alcohol ready-to-drink beverage category in which it competes, the company said. All geographic operating groups delivered volume growth in the quarter, with global volume increasing 5 percent, North American volume rising 2 percent and international volume growing 6 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

“Our first quarter results underscore The Coca-Cola Co.'s resilience and a long-term focus on quality growth in every region of the world,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co., in a statement. “Despite a continued mixed global environment, our hardworking teams achieved broad-based volume and value share gains in non-alcohol ready-to-drink beverages globally, with volume growth across every geographic operating group and revenue growth ahead of our long-term growth target.”

Kent also highlighted the company’s continued progress with its 2020 Vision.

"As we enter the third year and complete the ninth quarter of our 2020 Vision, we continue to see vast opportunities for the Coca-Cola system across the more than 200 countries we serve,” he said in a statement. “We are highly focused on creating value for our consumers, customers, communities and investors through our clear roadmap for growth, investments in our world-class brands, a productivity and reinvestment program that is driving efficiencies, and a global bottling system that is well-aligned for execution. It is these advantages that give us the confidence in our ability to achieve our long-term growth targets and deliver sustainable growth for the future.”

The company reported that immediate consumption beverage volume grew 6 percent globally in the quarter driven by focused in-store activation efforts and the ongoing expansion of cold drink equipment placements.

Sparkling beverage global volume increased 4 percent in the first quarter of 2012, with volume growth reported across every geographic operating group and gains in global volume and value share, according to the company. The Coca-Cola Co. said the growth was driven by ongoing investments in its brands and innovation with globally scaled marketing campaigns, starting with its trademark Coca-Cola, which grew 4 percent in volume globally in the quarter. Trademark Coca-Cola increased 1 percent in the United States with double-digit increases in Russia, which reported a 20 percent increase, and in India, where the brand was up 27 percent, the company reported. In addition, Fanta and Sprite’s global volume each grew 4 percent in the quarter, The Coca-Cola Co. said.

Worldwide still beverage volume increased 9 percent in the quarter with growth across most beverage categories, including bottled water, ready-to-drink (RTD) tea and coffee, energy drinks and sports drinks. The company reported a 15 percent growth in its packaged water business across all geographic operating groups. The Coca-Cola Co. attributed the category’s growth to its continued focus on innovative and sustainable packaging and immediate consumption occasions. The company’s RTD tea volume was up 10 percent with continued strong performance of key brands such as Gold Peak and Honest Tea in North America, Ayataka green tea in Japan, and Nestea in Europe, it said. Energy drinks volume grew 25 percent in the quarter driven by growth across the company’s global portfolio of brands, according to its first quarter results statement.

First quarter reported net revenues grew 6 percent and comparable currency neutral net revenues increased 7 percent, which the company attributed to a solid price-mix of 3 percent.

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