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Coke reverses trend, posts 12% hike in volumes

Coke reverses trend, posts 12% hike in volumes

Author | Source: The Economic Times | Thursday, Feb 15,2007 7:41 AM

Coke reverses trend, posts 12% hike in volumes

Coca-Cola India seems to have finally buried all its controversies. The soft drink major has reported a healthy 12% increase in unit-case volume for the fourth quarter ended December 2006, compared to a decline of 4% in the corresponding quarter the previous year.

Quarterly results announced by The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta on Wednesday stated that continued investments in marketing initiatives around the quality and safety of its products, and the focus on execution in the consolidated bottling operations, have resulted in strong growth and share gains.

Growth has been reported across the company's product portfolio, including soft drinks, juices and juice-based drinks. Coca-Cola India's decision to split up its bottling and marketing operations into two independent units has begun reflecting on the company's performance, say analysts.

The company is in the midst of a $250-million restructuring exercise for its bottling and marketing operations, aimed at driving manufacturing efficiencies, realigning idle company-owned capacities, and buying out excess capacities of co-bottlers.

The company's decision to pursue value growth and profitability, and not just volumes, has worked in its favour.

On the marketing front, the company has been pursuing region-specific advertising. The soft drink company had posted 4% growth in unit case volumes for Q3 last year, which had come after almost two years of quarter-on-quarter negative growth, as a fallout of pesticide controversy.

Coca-Cola's international operations have delivered a 6% unit case volume growth in the quarter and for the year. Coca-Cola's key markets - India, China, Russia, Nigeria, North and West Africa and Middle East - have reported double-digit growth.

Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Neville Isdell said in a statement, “Last year, we strengthened our business, enabling us to absorb fluctuations in individual markets and beverage categories.“

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