Coke misses expectations due to quake

City A.M. Reporter
COCA-COLA’S quarterly profit missed Wall Street estimates yesterday, hurt by the Japan earthquake and the timing of marketing expenses.

Coke, the world’s largest soft-drink company, said yesterday that net income rose to $1.9bn (£1.15bn), or 82 cents per share, in the first-quarter, from $1.61bn, or 69 cents per share, a year earlier.

Earnings per share were reduced because of lost revenue following the Japan earthquake in March and due to the timing of marketing expenses.

Excluding those items, and restructuring and other charges, earnings were 86 cents per share, missing the average analyst estimate by a penny.

Net operating revenue rose 40 per cent to $10.52bn, in part because of last year’s acquisition of North American bottling operations. Analysts on average were expecting $10.57bn.

Worldwide volume rose six per cent in the quarter, with North American volume, excluding new cross-licenced brands like Dr Pepper, up two per cent.

The Atlanta-based company, which does most of its business overseas, said sales volume rose seven per cent in Latin America, one per cent in Europe, eight per cent in Eurasia and Africa and five per cent in the Pacific.

Coke bought its North American bottling operations in October to streamline its distribution system and cut costs. Shares in the firm closed 1.7 per cent lower at $66.61.