COVID-19 Crisis To Hurt Coca-Cola's Q2 Sales

By Dave Simpson
COVID-19 Crisis To Hurt Coca-Cola's Q2 Sales

Coca-Cola Co has said that it expects its current-quarter results to take a hit as restaurants, theatres and other venues that represent approximately half of the company's revenue remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The soda maker's shares, a Dow 30 component, have lost approximately 16% so far this year.

Coca-Cola makes syrups and concentrates, and, through its bottlers, distributes them to fast-food chains, theatres, amusement parks and other venues, most of which have either closed all operations or limited their businesses.

Several concerts and sporting events, including the company-sponsored Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been postponed or cancelled.

As a result, volumes have fallen approximately 25% globally since the beginning of April, largely stemming from loss of sales other than at retail stores, the company said.


The hit to second-quarter results will be material, it said, though the ultimate impact on this quarter and the rest of the year is unknown at this time. Coca-Cola added that it expects comparable revenue to include a 4% to 5% hit from a stronger dollar.

However, the Atlanta-based beverage maker said that it saw stockpiling in some markets and a sharp rise in e-commerce sales, as consumers rushed to buy goods in preparation for lockdowns.

"It's certainly not the case that e-commerce is offsetting the losses...E-commerce, even though it's doubled in sales, for a beverage category, it's still a very small percentage of the total beverage category," CEO James Quincey told analysts.

"We do know that our over 134 years of business, we've seen many types of crisis....We are in a better position today than we were heading into previous periods of challenge," Quincey said.

Q1 Results

For the first quarter, the soda maker reported better-than-expected revenue and profit, and said that it expects conditions to start improving from mid-year.


For the first quarter ended March 27, net revenue fell 1% to $8.6 billion. Analysts were expecting $8.28 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, Coke earned 51 cents per share, beating market consensus estimate of 44 cents.

UBS analyst Sean King noted that first-quarter results are better than feared, but that the company has a tougher road ahead.

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