Coke And Fuze Tea Demand Drive Coca-Cola's Revenue Beat

By Dave Simpson
Coke And Fuze Tea Demand Drive Coca-Cola's Revenue Beat

Coca-Cola Co's quarterly revenue has beaten market expectations, driven by demand for the beverage maker's signature soda, flavoured Cokes and Fuze teas.

The Atlanta-based company said that fourth-quarter revenue growth was led by its trademark Coca-Cola, which included products such as caffeinated beverage Plus Coffee and Zero Sugar soda.

Retail sales of Coca-Cola's flagship brand rose 6%, CEO James Quincey said, adding that volumes in the brand were positive for the second straight year.

The world's largest beverage maker has been pushing into flavoured sodas, coffees, teas and low-sugar beverages to attract consumers who move away from sugary drinks.

The company is also expanding its portfolio and bought dairy company Fairlife earlier this month after spending approximately $5 billion on Costa Coffee last year.


Credit Suisse analyst Kaumil Gajrawala found it reassuring that the group's core product did well amid such expansion.

"When the trademark Coke brand is up 6%...That's one of the most positive indicators we have," Gajrawala said.

Organic Revenue

The group said that innovative sodas helped its organic revenue, which is a keenly watched metric that excludes currency fluctuations and acquisitions, climb 7% during the quarter.

Coca-Cola projected 2020 organic revenue growth to slow slightly to approximately 5% from a 6% rise it reported in 2019 and said that it will continue to focus on new categories through acquisitions.

"That's a pretty good indication that they feel good about the year so far...this would be seen as setting up a strong year," industry expert and executive editor of Beverage-Digest Duane Stanford said.



Volumes, which are a key indicator of demand, grew 3%, spurred by its Coca-Cola soda, with growth across all geographies. Volumes grew 4% for teas and coffee and 3% for sparkling soft drinks.

Adjusted Profit Expectation

For the year, Coca-Cola expects to record adjusted profit of $2.25 per share, which is just a cent below analysts' forecast, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Earnings Per Share, Net Revenue And Net Income

Excluding one-time items, Coca-Cola earned 44 cents per share during the fourth quarter which ended on December 31, meeting Wall Street expectations.

Net revenue grew 16% to $9.07 billion, beating analysts' estimate of $8.89 billion.

Net income attributable to the company's shareholders rose to $2.04 billion, or 47 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $870 million, or 20 cents per share, a year earlier.

News by Reuters, edited by Hospitality Ireland. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.