Coca-Cola fourth-quarter sales better than expected despite lower US demand

Coca-Cola reported higher-than-expected revenue in the fourth quarter as growth in Mexico, Germany and other markets offset lower sales in the US.

Revenue rose 7% to 10.8 billion US dollars (£8.6 billion) for the October-December period, the Atlanta beverages giant said on Tuesday.

That topped Wall Street’s forecast of 10.7 billion (£8.5 billion), according to analysts polled by FactSet.

Unit case volumes rose 2% in the quarter, led by sparkling soft drinks, juices and Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Sports drinks, coffee and tea all saw lower demand.

Coca Cola New Flavor
Cans of Coca-Cola Spiced, the beverage company’s first new permanent offering to its North American portfolio in three years (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

Coca-Cola said its prices rose 8% during the quarter.

While that was down from the double-digit price increases the company put in place earlier in 2023, it said higher prices are squeezing some consumers and forcing them to trade down to stores’ own-brands.

Unit case volumes grew in the drinks-maker’s other global markets.

Net income fell 3% to 1.9 billion dollars (£1.5 billion), or 46 cents (36p) per share.

Without one-time items, including restructuring costs, the company earned 49 cents (39p) per share. That was in line with Wall Street’s forecast.

Shares in the Coca-Cola Company were unchanged in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

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