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Coca-Cola Profit Tops Analyst Estimates, Helped by Cost Cuts

By Publications Checkout

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft-drink company, posted fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates after Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent’s $3 billion cost-cutting program helped improve margins.

Earnings were 38 cents a share in the period, excluding some items, the Atlanta-based company said in a statement Tuesday. Analysts estimated 37 cents on average.

Keeping a tighter lid on expenses helped Kent cope with the crushing impact of the strong US dollar, which has reduced the value of Coca-Cola’s sales in other countries. The CEO reduced expenses, revamped the company’s bottling system, and introduced more package sizes last year to counter declining soda consumption in the US and other major markets. The soda maker also was helped by low commodity costs, even as some overseas economies showed signs of faltering last quarter.

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“We delivered on this plan despite an increasingly challenging global macroeconomic environment,” Kent said in the statement.

The currency impact contributed to an eight per cent decline in operating revenue, which came in at $10 billion last quarter. The company also had six fewer days in the period than a year earlier. Analysts had estimated $9.89 billion on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Coca-Cola also said on Tuesday that it will complete the sale of its wholly owned U.S. bottling plants three years early and is widening the program to sites in China.

News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Ireland

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