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Coca-Cola Income Rises 16 Percent, Volumes Up

Wed, 07/21/2010 - 4:41am
Emily Fredrix, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola Co.'s second-quarter net income climbed 16 percent as the world's largest drink maker sold more soft drinks and juices in every part of the world except Europe.

The Atlanta-based maker of Coke and Sprite left its 2010 guidance unchanged Wednesday but said it remains cautious about meeting its targets. Shares rose 76 cents to $54 in premarket trading.

The company said it earned $2.37 billion, or $1.02 per share in the three months ending July 2. In the same period last year Coca-Cola earned $2.04 billion, or 88 cents, last year.

Excluding a charge for restructuring, Coca-Cola earned $1.06 per share.

Analysts expected earnings of $1.03 per share on revenue of $8.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $8.67 billion.

Worldwide, the amount of drinks sold increased 5 percent. Growth overseas continued to outpace domestic increases. The company and rival PepsiCo Inc. are concentrating on adding sales in emerging markets such as China and India, as people there earn more money. Developed markets such as the U.S. and Europe have been weaker because shoppers are still watching their spending because of fragile economies.

Juices and other drinks posted a 10 percent gain in sales volume in the quarter, while soft drinks rose 3 percent.

People are increasingly turning to juices, teas and waters for health reasons, leaving soft drink sales weak in the U.S. and Europe.

Europe's sales volume dropped 1 percent — the only regional decline — because of continued weakness in the economy. Eurasia and Africa grew the most, 10 percent.

The Coca-Cola brand's sales volume rose 5 percent on gains from the company's sponsorship of the World Cup and other marketing efforts.

UBS analyst Kaumil S. Gajrawala said the company posted "solid" gains on top of high ones last year.

"Most notably, volumes were well ahead of expectations in all regions but Europe," he told clients in a note Wednesday.

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