On Monday, Coca-Cola said quarterly demand was unchanged from a year earlier as North America and Western Europe needed more time to bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the global number of cases in March returned to 2019 levels.
“We are encouraged by improvements in our business, especially in markets where vaccine availability is increasing and economies are opening up, and we remain confident in our year-round direction,”
The company’s shares rose less than 1% in pre-trading.
Here’s what the company said compared to Wall Street’s expectations based on a survey of analysts at Refinitiv:
- Adjusted earnings per share: 55 cents versus 50 cents expected
- Revenue: $ 9.02 billion against $ 8.6 billion
The beverage giant reported first-quarter fiscal net revenue of $ 2.25 billion, or 52 cents a share, from $ 2.78 billion, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Coke earned 55 cents a share, exceeding the 50 cents a share expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv.
Net sales rose 5% to $ 9.02 billion, exceeding expectations of $ 8.6 billion. Organic revenues increased by 6%, while the volume of cases was equal compared to a year earlier. Cox said demand is improving every month of the quarter, driven by markets such as China, where uncertainty over the virus has subsided.
The company’s soft drink segment, which includes its court carbonated beverage, grew by 4% during the quarter. While the fountain business in North America is still under pressure, growth in India, China and Latin America has offset this decline. Greater demand in China and India also helped its food, juices, dairy and beverages segment, which grew by 3%.
Hydration, sports, coffee and Coca-Cola tea suffered the most, shrinking by 11%. The coffee business has fallen by 21% due to the virus’s impact on Costa cafes. The hydration category, which includes Dasani and Smartwater, saw a 12% drop in volume as fewer consumers around the world bought disposable water bottles. Demand for Coca-Cola tea products fell by 6%, while sports drinks such as Powerade’s volume fell by only 1%.
The company reiterated its year-round forecast for organic revenue growth with high single digits and adjusted profit growth in the range from high single digits to low double digits.
In a separate submission, Coke announced plans for a public list of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. The company will sell part of its shares in the initial public offering, which is expected within 18 months. The shares will be listed in Amsterdam and Johannesburg.