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Coca-Cola beats revenue estimates on steady demand despite price hikes

Average selling prices rose 11% in the first quarter, the company said, while unit case volumes rose 3%

Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen at a Carrefour Hypermarket store in Montreuil, near Paris, France. (Photo: Reuters)


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Coca-Cola Co beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue and profit on Monday, as demand for its sodas remained resilient in the face of multiple price increases taken to combat higher commodity and shipping costs.

Average selling prices rose 11% in the first quarter, the company said, while unit case volumes rose 3%.

The company said in February it would raise soda prices further in 2023 "across the world" to combat the stubbornly high costs but at a moderating pace compared to rival PepsiCo , which hit a pause on price hikes.

Still, a near domination of the global carbonated drinks market along with PepsiCo has helped Coca-Cola to raise prices with little or no pushback from consumers.

Consumer goods companies have raised prices to pass on steep commodity and raw material costs that stemmed from supply-chain snags fueled by the pandemic and aggravated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Average price of 192 ounces of Coca-Cola's soda in the US rose to $9.30 in 2022 from $8.03 in 2021, according to NielsenIQ's data. It stood at $10.55 so far in 2023.

Coca-Cola's first-quarter operating margin was 30.7%, compared to 32.5% a year earlier, as price hikes did not fully help offset an impact from higher operating costs, an increase in marketing spending, investments and a stronger dollar.

The company's first-quarter revenue rose about 5% to $10.98 billion, beating estimates of $10.80 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

Adjusted earnings came in at 68 cents per share, compared with estimates of 64 cents.

The company's shares were up about 1% in premarket trading.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 4:42 PM IST

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