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Coca-Cola sales surge offsetting rising costs, Russia exit

AP – Sales at Coca-Cola surged 16 per cent during the first quarter as crowds returned to movie theatres, music venues and sport stadiums, offsetting rising input costs for the company and the suspension of operations in Russia.

Coca-Cola was among the companies to pull the plug on Russian operations after the country invaded neighbouring Ukraine.

But yesterday, it stuck by earlier revenue growth projections of seven per cent to eight per cent and per-share growth of five per cent to six per cent for the year.

The Atlanta company posted net income of USD2.78 billion, or 64 cents per share, topping Wall Street’s expectations for per-share earnings by six cents, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

The world’s largest beverage maker posted revenue of USD10.49 billion in the period, also exceeding industry analyst forecasts of USD9.91 billion.

Bottles of Coca-Cola on display at a grocery market. PHOTO: AP

Sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar increased 14 per cent, while sales of its namesake Coca-Cola soft drink rose six per cent.

Overall sales for the sparkling soft drink category climbed seven per cent. Consumers continued to gravitate to healthier beverages, with sales of nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverages up 12 per cent. Sales of hydration, sports, coffee and tea grew 10 per cent.

Global unit case volume increased eight per cent, while pricing and mix rose seven per cent.

Coca-Cola said accelerated cost pressures and ongoing supply challenges are leading it to look for different and more affordable ways to get its products to consumers. This includes offering single-serve packages.

Coke is getting hit across the board on rising costs for everything from aluminium and sugar to transportation. The company has said the suspension of operation in Russia will trim four cents from per share earnings this year.

Shares of The Coca-Cola Co rose slightly before the opening bell.