Sat, 28 May 2022

ATLANTA, Georgia: As crowds returned to movie theaters, music venues and sports stadiums, sales of Coca-Cola surged 16 percent in the first quarter of 2022, offsetting rising manufacturing costs and the suspension of its Russian operations.

Along with other western companies, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola pulled out of Russia after Moscow invaded neighboring Ukraine.

However, it stayed true to its earlier revenue growth projections of 7 to 8 percent and per-share growth of 5 to 6 percent for the year.

A survey by Zacks Investment Research reported that the world's largest beverage maker posted a net income of $2.78 billion, or 64 cents per share, topping Wall Street's expectations for per-share earnings by 6 cents.

During the period, Coca-Cola posted revenue of $10.49 billion, surpassing industry analyst predictions of $9.91 billion.

Sales of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar increased 14 percent, while sales of its namesake Coca-Cola soft drink rose 6 percent. Overall, sales for the sparkling soft drink category climbed 7 percent.

Healthier drinks were still more popular with customers, as sales of nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverages increased 12 percent. Also, sales of hydration, sports, coffee and tea grew 10 percent.

Coca-Cola said accelerated cost pressures and ongoing supply challenges are leading it to look for different and more affordable methods to supply its products to consumers, including offering single-serve packages.

Coke is faced with rising costs for everything from aluminum and sugar to transportation, adding that the suspension of its operations in Russia will reduce its per share earnings by 4 cents this year.

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