Strong Growth in India Causes Coca-Cola to Invest $3 Billion More than Planned

Will invest $5 billion by 2020

Coca-Cola (IW 1000/112) and its local bottlers said on June 26 that they intend to invest $5 billion in India by 2020 -- $3 billion more than originally planned -- after posting major growth there earlier this year.

The investment should enable the group to double its sales in the country by the end of the decade, CEO Muhtar Kent said.

The boost in investment represents a major expansion for the company, which has invested just $2 billion in India in the last 19 years.

Coca-Cola was first allowed into India in 1993, a move that signaled the opening of the now fast-growing Asian economy. The country is already one of the top ten largest markets for Coca-Cola.

Surging sales in emerging markets like India, China and Brazil gave earnings at Coca-Cola a solid boost in the first quarter of this year, the company said in April.

Net income for the quarter to March 30 was up 8% to $2.07 billion from $1.92 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

Closer Look at Sales

The Atlanta, Georgia-based company said global volume and value share grew across its entire range of non-alcoholic drinks.

Volume growth was 20% in India and 9% in China, while in mature markets it was steady -- 2% in North America, and 3% in both Germany and Japan.

The growth was strongest in its still beverage divisions, which include bottled water, bottled and canned coffee and tea, and sports and energy drinks.

The world's leading producer of non-alcoholic popular beverages includes the brands Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, and Del Valle.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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