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Industryweek 7080 Coca Cola

Coca-Cola Earnings Fizzle; North America Volume Flat

July 22, 2014
Net earnings at the U.S. beverage giant came in at $2.6 billion, down 3% from the year-ago period.

NEW YORK - Coca-Cola (IW 500/28) KO Tuesday reported that second-quarter earnings dipped, as it notched strong volume growth in Asia but flat volumes in North America, Europe and Latin America.

Net earnings at the U.S. beverage giant came in at $2.6 billion, down 3% from the year-ago period.

The year-over-year drop reflected in part a Venezuelan law capping profit margins.

"As we now reach the midpoint of the year, we have delivered sound financial performance year to date and demonstrated sequential improvement in our global volume growth," said chief executive Muhtar Kent.

"While I am pleased with our progress to date, we remain focused on the work required to return our business to the level of sustainable growth we and our shareowners expect."

Worldwide volumes grew 3%, with an 8% jump in Asia Pacific thanks to strong results in China, India and other markets.

In North America, brand Coca-Cola volume grew 1%, but the gain was "tempered by softness in Diet Coke," the company said.

In Europe, growth in Northwest Europe, Germany and Iberia was offset by declines in Central and Southern Europe. Overall volume in the region was unchanged.

Volume was also flat in Latin America, where Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil resulted in some marketing successes, even as these gains were offset by "aggressive competitive activity and a deteriorating macroeconomic environment," the company said.

Coca-Cola's results translated into adjusted earnings per share of 64 cents, a penny above expectations.

Revenues dipped 1.4% to $12.57 billion, under the $12.93 billion projected by analysts.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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