India, China sales boost Coca-Cola profits

February 10th, 2010 - 9:45 am ICT by IANS  

New York, Feb 10 (IANS) India and China accounted for much of the three percent growth in the worldwide sales for Coca-Cola in 2009.
Releasing its annual and fourth-quarter results Tuesday, the world’s largest beverage maker reported a profit of $6.82 billion - up 17 percent from $5.81 billion posted in 2008.

Coca-Cola said the emerging India and China lifted its volume of unit sales by three percent in the whole year and as much as five percent in the fourth-quarter. In terms of revenue, Coca-Cola reported sales of $31 billion - almost a billion dollars down from $31.94 raked in 2008.

But the fourth quarter revenue rose to $7.51 billion from $7.13 billion during the same period in 2008 - up almost five percent, the company said.

Attributing its upbeat yearly numbers to its performance in the fourth quarter, the beverage giant said that in the last quarter its unit sales increased 29 percent in China and 20 percent in India.

Other developing markets Brazil and Mexico accounted for eight percent and fur percent for growth in unit sales, the Atlanta-based company said.

The company also reported gains in sales of nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages as well as sparkling and still beverages under its global ‘Open Happiness’ campaign.

“Brand Coca-Cola unit case volume grew a solid 4 percent in the quarter, with strong growth across global markets, including 22 percent in India, 13 percent in China, 12 percent in France, 5 percent in Mexico and 4 percent in Germany. Total sparkling beverage unit case volume increased 3 percent in the quarter, with international sparkling beverage unit case volume increasing 5 percent,” Coca-Cola said.

“We ended this year on a high note, delivering global volume and value share gains, comparable currency neutral revenue growth, improved productivity and increased cash flows,” said Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.

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