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VOL. 45 | NO. 29 | Friday, July 16, 2021

Coke sales surge in Q2 as re-openings gain momentum

The Associated Press

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Coca-Cola Co.'s sales rebounded faster than expected as the impact of the pandemic abated.

The Atlanta-based soft drink giant said its revenue jumped 42% to $10.1 billion in the April-June period. That was well ahead of the $9.3 billion in sales that Wall Street had forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet.

It was a very different story than the second quarter of 2020, when Coke's sales sank 28%. Coke said sales of its trademark Coca-Cola are now running ahead of 2019 levels thanks to growing demand in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Case volumes grew 18% to a level that was even with 2019. Coke said some markets, like China, Brazil and Nigeria, are already running ahead of 2019 demand, while others, like India, continue to be under pressure due to the pandemic.

In North America, case volumes rose 17% as restaurants, movie theaters, stadiums and other venues reopened or dropped capacity restrictions. Coke has historically booked half its revenue from such businesses, which were crushed by the pandemic.

Demand for Powerade and other sports drinks was particularly strong, with case volumes up 35% from the same period last year. Coffee sales surged 78% as the company's Costa retail stores reopened in the United Kingdom.

Coke's net income surged 48% to $2.6 billion. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned 68 cents per share. Analysts had forecast earnings per share of 56 cents.

The company raised its full-year earnings forecast based on its results. It now expects organic revenue growth of 12% to 14% in 2021 __ up from high single-digit growth __ and earnings per share growth of 13% to 15%

Coke's shares were up 2% in premarket trading.

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