The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, reported strong first quarter 2011 operating results, with worldwide volume growth of 6 percent, cycling 3 percent growth in the prior year quarter.
The North American market achieved its fourth consecutive quarter of organic volume growth. Volume grew 6 percent in North America and 2 percent excluding cross-licensed brands, primarily Dr Pepper brands.
Excluding new cross-licensed brands in North America, worldwide volume grew 5 percent in the quarter. In addition to the North American market, Coca-Cola achieved broad-based volume growth in the quarter across each of its five geographic operating groups, with growth of 8 percent in Eurasia and Africa, 7 percent in Latin America, 5 percent in Pacific and 1 percent in Europe.
In North America, reported net revenue for the quarter increased 143 percent, primarily reflecting the acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprises’ (CCE) North American operations. Concentrate sales were up 5 percent, including new cross-licensed brands. The company said its focus on driving revenue growth management strategies led to positive price realization in the quarter, and it expects to see further price realization during the course of the year to help offset a rising cost environment. Reported first quarter operating income grew 9 percent. Comparable currency neutral operating income grew 29 percent in the quarter, reflecting the acquisition of CCE’s North American operations.
Organic volume for sparkling beverages in North America declined 1 percent in the quarter, but was up 6 percent including cross-licensed brands. Coca-Cola grew sparkling beverage volume share in the quarter and maintained value share, it said. Coca-Cola Zero delivered double-digit volume growth for the 20th consecutive quarter. Sprite growth also continued for the fourth consecutive quarter, up 2 percent, and Fanta was up 5 percent for its third consecutive quarter of growth. In addition, Seagram’s grew more than 30 percent driven by expanded availability and additional media support, Coca-Cola said.
North American still beverage volume growth was up 8 percent in the quarter, led by 21 percent growth in Powerade and 20 percent growth in Simply. The company’s tea portfolio continued to expand, with growth of 12 percent. In addition, the Glacéau business grew 12 percent in North America driven by the expansion of Vitaminwater Zero along with continued double-digit growth in Smartwater.