Coca-Cola posts upbeat first quarter results thanks to focus on healthier drinks

By Laura Mullan
Slimming down its operations and revamping its products for healthy-minded consumers helped Coca-Cola boost its first-quarter sales, beating analysts...

Slimming down its operations and revamping its products for healthy-minded consumers helped Coca-Cola boost its first-quarter sales, beating analysts’ estimates. 

The world’s largest beverage company said that increasing demand for Coke Zero and the rebranding of Diet Coke in sleeker tins and flavours helped to encourage positive volume growth in North America. 

The Atlanta-based firm has been selling off its bottling facilities in recent years to refocus on its vision as a “total beverage company”.

After a lengthy transition, the strategy says that this strategy is helping the company stay on-track to achieve its full-year targets, 

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Coca-Cola’s net revenue fell 16% to $7.34bn, due to the divestment of its bottling operations, beating analysts’ estimations of $7.34bn. 

The beverage company said that its saw positive volume growth of 3% and also noted that organic sales - which excludes gains from acquisitions or divestitures - rose 5% in the first quarter.

"We're encouraged with our first quarter performance as we continue our evolution as a consumer-centric, total beverage company," said James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. 

"We have the right strategies in place and remain confident in our ability to achieve our full-year guidance."

Coca-Cola’s results were also lifted by its portfolio of sparkling waters with the carbonated versions of its Dasani and Smartwater brand’s seeing double-digit growth.

The beverage giant’s recent acquisitions have also paid off. 

It’s recent acquisition of Topo Chico’s US distribution rights, helped the brand grow its US retail value over 30% during the quarter. 
 

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