The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) reported its first quarter financial results on Tuesday morning. The worldwide beverage producer reported better-than-expected results, which sent shares higher by 3% in the early morning.
For the quarter, Coca-Cola reported earnings of USD 0.48 per share on revenue of USD 8.02 Billion. Refinitiv analysts expected earnings of USD 0.46 per share on revenue of USD 7.88 Billion.
Coca-Cola reported that revenue increased by 5% year-over-year attributable to timing, primarily related to bottler inventory build in order to manage uncertainty related to Brexit.
Unit case volume grew by 2%, driven mainly by markets in Asia and Europe. Coca-Cola’s Asia market returned to higher single digit growth after its fourth quarter saw unit case volume increased by 2%.
Coca-Cola’s Argentina market saw a double-digit decline in unit case volume as the country’s recession continued into 2019. North American unit case volume declined by 1%, however, net sales increased by 1%.
Coca-Cola saw stronger sales in its sugar-free products. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar recorded double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive quarter. Within the U.S., Coca-Cola saw strong performances from its Orange Vanilla Coke and Orange Vanilla Coke Zero Sugar products, helping drive a 6% retail value growth for the brand.
“We’re encouraged by our first quarter results as our disciplined growth strategies continue to deliver strong underlying performance,” said James Quincey, Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “We remain confident in our full year guidance as we continue to make progress on our transformation as a consumer-centric total beverage company.”
During the quarter, Coca-Cola completed its acquisition of Costa Ltd. The acquisition now positions Coca-Cola within the hot beverage industry. In the second quarter, the Company intends to leverage Costa with the introduction of Costa ready-to-drink products. Coca-Cola also completed the acquisition of CHI Ltd., a beverage producer in West Africa.
Following Coca-Cola’s annual meeting on Wednesday, James Quincey will become the 14th Chairman of Coca-Cola, contingent upon his reelection as a director. Quincey succeeds Muhtar Kent