The Coca-Cola Company, the world's largest soft-drink maker, reported fourth-quarter profit yesterday that beat estimates of analysts as teas and juices led to strong growth in Asia.
According to chief executive, Muhtar Kent, demand was strong for its flagship Coca-Cola soft drink, with volume sales gaining 1 per cent even as the company increased retail prices for carbonated beverages by 4 per cent.
Profit excluding some items stood at 79 cents a share, according to Coca-Cola, which was in excess of the 77-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
Net income in the quarter was down to $1.65 billion, or 72 cents a share, from $5.77 billion, or $2.46 a share, a year earlier, when the company reported a gain from an acquisition.
The company is looking to expand beverage sales in Asia with global marketing campaigns and products like its Minute Maid Pulpy juice drink. Sales volume in the fourth quarter was up 5 per cent in Japan and 10 per cent in China.
According to some analysts, Coke's fourth quarter results had benefited from continued strength of its international beverage portfolio. They added they also found the continued strong performance by the Coca-Cola and Coke Zero franchises as a standout for the North American segment.