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Coca-Cola Reports Flat Profits

Growth in emerging markets such as India and China is helping the beverage company weather a slowdown in the United States.

Global beverage giant Coca-Cola on Tuesday reported a nearly flat third-quarter profit, as sales growth in key emerging markets helped overcome difficult economic conditions. The world's top soft drink maker said income rose slightly to $1.896 billion from $1.890 billion a year ago. The income was equivalent to 82 cents a share excluding special items, roughly in line with expectations. Revenue however fell 4% to $8.04 billion. Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said he was pleased with the "solid results.The fundamentals of our business remain strong and our franchise system is delivering results that keep us on track to achieve our long-term growth expectations," he said. Although the company expected consumers to continue facing economic uncertainties into 2010, "We believe more than ever that we have the right strategies being executed ... and have taken the right actions this year to drive continued growth and to make the most of the abundant opportunities before us." Coca Cola's growth in emerging markets such as India and China is helping it weather a slowdown in the United States, which plunged into recession in December 2007. In the quarter, unit case volume growth increased strongly in key emerging markets with 37% growth in India, 15% growth in China and 3% growth in Brazil. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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