Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, posted first-quarter profits that beat analysts’ estimates after it enticed consumers to pay more for its drinks.
Excluding some items, profit was 48 cents a share, US-based Coca-Cola said in a statement. Analysts estimated 42 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Chief executive officer Muhtar Kent has raised drink prices, increased marketing and cut costs as the company works to counter a consumer malaise that has spread to emerging markets. The higher prices helped boost revenue 1.3 per cent to $10.7 billion, topping analysts’ estimates and marking the first quarterly gain in two years.
Higher retail shelf prices and an increased mix of more profitable drinks increased pricing by 3 per cent globally, Coca-Cola said.
That was a bigger gain than the 2.4-per-cent boost estimated by Wells Fargo. While sales volume in Coca-Cola’s key North America market was little changed, the company boosted pricing there by 2 per cent.
“Strong pricing, particularly in North America, has continued into this year,” chief financial officer Kathy Waller said. “Developed markets are very much going to be focused on pricing and revenue.”
News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM