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Coca-Cola sees strong growth in India, chief lauds resilient economy

Coca-Cola also pointed out that the refillables infrastructure takes time to build and said that it has some activity in Africa and India and pointed out that it doesn't change overnight


James Quincey, chairman and chief executive officer, Coca-Cola

Sharleen Dsouza Mumbai

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India’s economy is resilient and it has a strong job market and robust consumption, James Quincey, chairman and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola, told analysts in his opening remarks after announcing the January-March quarter earnings.

The firm’s global unit case volume grew by 3 per cent, and it said it grew its business in India by adding retailers, investing in cold drink equipment, and offering products at the right price points, it said in a results release.

However, Quincey cautioned that there was “worse weather” in India and the US. He said, “We are two weeks into the second quarter. So, I don’t think there is anything particularly productive in it. I mean, they weren’t out of the park results in the first couple of weeks, but there was some worse weather in India and the US and the shift of Easter.”

The company said during the quarter it and its bottling partners increased availability by more than 300,000 stores and approximately 40,000 coolers ahead of the summer season and drove approximately 3 billion transactions at affordable price points through single-serve packages and at-home entry packs.

“The company also increased household penetration via targeted promotions on large packages for the at-home channel. This integrated execution yielded strong results, as the company grew revenue ahead of transactions and grew transactions ahead of volume, while also growing value share in the sparkling soft drinks and juice categories,” it said.

In unit case volumes, developed markets grew in the mid-single digits, while developing and emerging markets grew in the low single digits. Growth in developing and emerging markets was led by China, India, and Brazil.

“Juice, value-added dairy, and plant-based beverages were even, as strong growth in fairlife in the United States, Minute Maid Pulpy in China, and Maaza in India was offset by the suspension of business in Russia,” it said.

In Asia Pacific, Coca-Cola’s unit case volume grew 10 per cent driven by strong growth across most categories and the growth was led by China, India, and Australia and it gained value share in total non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages led by share gains in Japan, India, Australia and Vietnam, it said.

In bottlling investments, its unit case volume declined 1 per cent due to the impact of refranchising bottling operations and was partially offset by strong growth in India.

While talking about affordability gains in revenue management, the management of the company said in response to an analyst’s question, “If you have a good anchor in affordability options, it allows the portfolio to stretch along the price spectrum with other packaging options, and thereby both satisfy more consumers and drive a better higher competitive advantage and a more profitable business overall.”

The management of Coca-Cola also pointed out that the refillables infrastructure takes time to build and said that it has some activity in Africa and India and pointed out that it doesn’t change overnight.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 8:52 PM IST

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