Coca-Cola Co. Posts 4 Percent Growth For 2012

The Coca-Cola Co. reported full-year and fourth quarter 2012 results. The company reported worldwide volume growth of 4 percent for the full year and 3 percent in the fourth quarter 2012. It reported solid growth for the full year in key developed markets, including North America (+2 percent) and Japan (+2 percent). Europe volume declined 1 percent for the full year, reflecting ongoing uncertain macroeconomic conditions. In addition, the company delivered strong volume growth in key emerging markets such as Thailand (+22 percent), India (+16 percent) and Russia (+8 percent) for the full year. Our China business delivered 4 percent volume growth for the full year, cycling double-digit growth in the prior year, and was impacted by the further effects of a slowing economy, poor weather and a later Chinese New Year. Solid growth continued in countries with per capita consumption of company brands less than 150 eight-ounce servings per year, with volume up 7 percent for the full year.

For both the full year and the quarter, the company grew global volume and value share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages, with volume and value share gains across nearly every beverage category. Further, our immediate consumption volume grew a solid 5 percent globally in 2012, leading to transaction growth of 5 percent, driven by focused in-store activation efforts and cold-drink equipment expansion. In addition to increasing the total placement of branded cold-drink equipment to more than 14 million units as of the end of 2012, the global system remains focused on innovations in cooler design, cost efficiency and effectiveness, and sustainability. The company achieved a 40 to 50 percent improvement in energy efficiency in new equipment placed today compared to equipment placed in 2000, and the company maintains its commitment to placing HFC-free units around the world.

Worldwide sparkling beverage volume grew 3 percent for the full year and 1 percent in the quarter. This represents approximately 550 million incremental unit cases in 2012, or the equivalent of adding 13.2 billion new servings to the global business. The company grew volume and value share in global core sparkling beverages for the full year and in the quarter, led by brand Coca-Cola and reflecting a balanced portfolio approach to growth in the core sparkling beverage category. Worldwide brand Coca-Cola volume grew 3 percent for the full year, with growth across diverse markets, including India (+33 percent), Thailand (+31 percent), Russia (+20 percent), the Philippines (+8 percent), Brazil (+3 percent) and Mexico (+3 percent). In addition, Fanta volume grew 5 percent and Sprite volume grew 4 percent for the full year, as the company activated global marketing campaigns in locally relevant ways such as the Fanta Play campaign, now in nearly 200 markets, and the Sprite Uncontainable Game NBA partnership.

Worldwide still beverage volume grew 10 percent for the full year and 9 percent in the quarter, with growth across beverage categories, including packaged water, ready-to-drink tea and coffee, juices and juice drinks, sports drinks and energy drinks. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, still beverage volume grew 8 percent for the full year and 7 percent in the quarter. The company grew global volume and value share in still beverages and delivered volume and value share gains across nearly every still beverage category.

Ready-to-drink tea volume grew 14 percent for the full year and 16 percent in the quarter, with continued strong performance of key brands such as Gold Peak and Honest Tea in North America, Ayataka green tea in Japan and Fuze Tea, which the company continued to expand across many markets worldwide during the year. Packaged water volume grew 12 percent for both the full year and the quarter, driven by our focus on innovative and sustainable packaging and immediate consumption occasions. Our PlantBottleTM PET packaging is now present in 10 countries that represent more than 50 percent of our global packaged water business. Energy drink volume grew 20 percent for the full year and 12 percent in the quarter, driven by growth across our global portfolio of energy brands, with burn now available in 75 countries.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Co. said in a prepared statement, “We are pleased with our results we announced…In a year marked by continued uncertainty in the global economy, we delivered solid volume, revenue and profit growth, and we realized further volume and value share gains in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages. The Coca-Cola Co. has consistently delivered quality results and met or exceeded its long-term volume, revenue and profit growth targets every year since the announcement of our 2020 Vision at the end of 2009. This reflects the commitment of our entire system to invest together for a better tomorrow and to sustainably create shared value while making a positive difference in the communities we serve. Together we are delivering on our priorities and achieving success.”

“As we enter 2013 in what is still an uncertain global economy, we know that it is critical to seize the opportunity to keep leading and succeeding in any environment. We must continue investing in our business so that we get even better -- better at collaborating, at innovating, at listening to consumers, customers and our bottling partners and most importantly, at executing with precision. All of us at Coca-Cola remain diligent about our results as we manage our business for continued sustainable long-term success,” continued Kent.

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