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Coca-Cola announces third-quarter, year-to-date results

The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, reported strong third-quarter and year-to-date 2012 results, with solid volume and revenue growth and continued volume and value share gains in total non-alcohol ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages, as well as across nearly every beverage category in which the company competes.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co., said in a statement: “We are pleased with our third-quarter and year-to-date results. We continue to deliver consistent and solid performance, with our business growing worldwide volume by 4 percent in the quarter and 5 percent year-to-date. Importantly, we realized growth in the quarter across all five of our global geographic operating groups, despite continued volatility in the worldwide economy. We have been able to crack the calculus for growth in this environment. We have done this by consistently investing in our system and our brands to ensure that our global portfolio is more relevant and healthier today than it has ever been. We remain resolutely focused on ensuring that we leverage our wonderful heritage and fuse it with what is expected by our consumers today in order to earn and sustain our place in their daily lives tomorrow.”

The company’s North America Group's volume grew 2 percent in the quarter and year-to-date, cycling 1 percent organic growth in the prior year quarter, the company reports. Reported net revenues for the quarter increased 5 percent, reflecting volume growth of 2 percent as well as positive price/mix of 3 percent and a 1 percent benefit from structural changes, primarily the acquisition of Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Oklahoma City, it reports. Currency unfavorably affected reported net revenues by 1 percent, it adds.

Third-quarter reported operating income for the North America Group grew 34 percent, which includes the effect of items impacting comparability, principally net gains and losses related to economic hedges, primarily commodities, as well as costs related to the integration of the former North America business of Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE), the company reports. Comparable currency neutral operating income grew 3 percent in the quarter, a sequential improvement from the first half of 2012, reflecting positive volume growth and pricing, partially offset by higher commodity costs and ongoing investment in marketplace executional capabilities, it reports.

During the quarter, North America gained volume and value share in total NARTD beverages as it continues to build strong value, creating brands and strengthening customer service, the company says. In addition, the North America Group gained volume share and maintained value share in sparkling beverages and also gained both volume and value share in still beverages, with volume and value share gains across multiple still beverage categories, including juices and juice drinks, functional hydration, sports drinks, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Sparkling beverage volume was even in the quarter with sparkling beverage price/mix growth of 3 percent, as the company maintained the price increases put in place during the past year, it reports. Coca-Cola Zero volume grew 9 percent in the quarter, Fanta volume was up 5 percent in the quarter, and Seagram's grew 11 percent in the quarter driven by the continued expansion of Seagram's Sparkling Seltzer Water, it says. Still beverage volume grew 7 percent in the quarter, led by Powerade’s 9 percent growth with strong 2012 Olympic Games activation and the new “Power Through” campaign as well as double-digit growth in Gold Peak tea and Fuze tea. The company’s portfolio of juice and juice drink brands grew 6 percent in the quarter, driven by growth in juice drinks and the Minute Maid Light portfolio, while its premium chilled orange juice continued to gain value share. Coca-Cola’s water business grew 4 percent as Dasani maintained its premium pricing position in the mainstream water segment, supported by the company’s PlantBottle packaging.
 

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