USA – The Coca-Cola Company reported strong operating results in the third quarter, recording 6% growth in organic revenues with volume growth across all operating groups.
Net revenues declined 9% to US$8.2 billion, impacted by a 13-point headwind from the refranchising of company-owned bottling operations.
Concentrate sales grew 4% having benefited from the timing of shipments, and price/mix growth of 2%.
The company said strong performance in the quarter was driven by continued innovation and revenue growth management initiatives within sparkling soft drinks.
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar saw double-digit volume growth across all groups brands like Fuze Tea and smartwater recorded strong performance.
Volume grew 2% led by its trademark brand, Coca Cola while comparable operating margin improved 575 basis points, driven by divestitures of lower-margin bottling operations and the company’s ongoing productivity efforts.
Its water and sports drink sales rose 5%, primarily due to strong sales in China and Mexico.
Juice, dairy and plant-based beverage sales declined 3% weighed down by its operations in the Middle East and Africa; tea and coffee dropped too.
The company said these drivers were partially offset by an approximate 130 basis point headwind from the adoption of the new revenue recognition accounting standard and the impact of currency.
“We continue to be encouraged by our performance year-to-date as we accelerate our evolution as an even more consumer-centric, total beverage company,” said James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
“The recent leadership appointments are intended to help accelerate the transformation of our company.”
The CEO said the company raised prices in North America to offset higher import and transportation costs.
The company recently appointed Brian Smith as new president and chief operating officer (COO)
President of the company’s Asia Pacific group, John Murphy has been appointed senior vice president and deputy CFO effective January 1, 2019 and will be elevated to executive vice president and CFO on March 16, 2019, following the retirement of Kathy Waller.
During the quarter, Coca Cola agreed to acquire Costa Limited, marking an entrance into a US$500 billion global market with hot beverages.