The Coca-Cola reported solid first quarter 2012 results, with strong volume and revenue growth, and volume and value share gains across every nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverage category in which it competes. All geographic operating groups delivered volume growth in the quarter. Four out of five geographic operating groups also delivered comparable currency neutral net revenue growth, while Europe's comparable currency neutral net revenue growth rounded to even despite a continued volatile macroeconomic environment. This quarter's performance demonstrates that the company continues to refresh a thirsty world while remaining focused on delivering its 2020 Vision.
Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola , said in a prepared statement, "Our first quarter results underscore The Coca-Cola's resilience and a long-term focus on quality growth in every region of the world. Despite a continued mixed global environment, our hardworking teams achieved broad-based volume and value share gains in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages globally, with volume growth across every geographic operating group and revenue growth ahead of our long-term growth target.
"As we enter the third year and complete the ninth quarter of our 2020 Vision, we continue to see vast opportunities for the Coca-Cola system across the more than 200 countries we serve. We are highly focused on creating value for our consumers, customers, communities and investors through our clear roadmap for growth, investments in our world-class brands, a productivity and reinvestment program that is driving efficiencies, and a global bottling system that is well-aligned for execution. It is these advantages that give us the confidence in our ability to achieve our long-term growth targets and deliver sustainable growth for the future.”
The company reported worldwide volume growth of 5 percent for the first quarter. Volume growth in the quarter was well-balanced around the world, with solid growth in key developed markets, including North America (2 percent), Japan (3 percent) and Germany (3 percent) as well as strong growth in key emerging markets such as India (20 percent), China (9 percent) and Brazil (4 percent). In addition, high single-digit volume growth continued in countries with per capita consumption of company brands less than 150 8-ounce servings per year. Brand health remains strong, with continued improvements in favorite brand scores and growth among consumers who enjoy our brands more than once per week. In the first quarter, we grew global volume and value share in total NARTD beverages, with volume and value share gains across every beverage category in which we compete. Further, immediate consumption beverage volume grew a healthy 6 percent globally in the quarter, driven by focused in-store activation efforts and the ongoing expansion of cold drink equipment placements.
The company continued to see growth in sparkling beverages, with global volume up 4 percent in the quarter, sparkling beverage volume growth across every geographic operating group and gains in global volume and value share. This growth was driven by ongoing investments in brands and innovation with globally scaled marketing campaigns, starting with brand Coca-Cola.
Brand Coca-Cola volume grew 4 percent in the quarter, with quality growth in many developed markets around the world, including Germany (4 percent), the United States (1 percent), Italy (5 percent) and Spain (3 percent as well as in many emerging markets, including Brazil (1 percent), Russia (20 percent), India (27 percent) and China (5 percent). In addition, global Fanta and Sprite volume each grew 4 percent in the quarter, reflecting a balanced portfolio approach to growth in the important sparkling beverage category.