India markets close in 2 hours 50 minutes
  • BSE SENSEX

    49,212.97
    -289.43 (-0.58%)
     
  • Nifty 50

    14,872.35
    -69.95 (-0.47%)
     
  • USD/INR

    73.4200
    -0.0100 (-0.01%)
     
  • Dow

    34,742.82
    -34.98 (-0.10%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,401.86
    -350.34 (-2.55%)
     
  • BTC-INR

    4,083,231.00
    -232,335.50 (-5.38%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,472.42
    -88.88 (-5.69%)
     
  • Hang Seng

    28,067.44
    -528.26 (-1.85%)
     
  • Nikkei

    28,608.59
    -909.71 (-3.08%)
     
  • EUR/INR

    89.0684
    -0.0430 (-0.05%)
     
  • GBP/INR

    103.6402
    -0.0378 (-0.04%)
     
  • AED/INR

    19.9380
    -0.0100 (-0.05%)
     
  • INR/JPY

    1.4810
    +0.0016 (+0.11%)
     
  • SGD/INR

    55.3020
    -0.0910 (-0.16%)
     

Coca-Cola posts sparkling quarter, warns of rocky recovery as COVID-19 cases surge

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Nivedita Balu
·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: Boxes of Coca-Cola are seen at a grocery store in Los Angeles
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

By Nivedita Balu

(Reuters) -Coca-Cola Co thumped estimates for quarterly results on Monday as sales in Asia picked up following the reopening of stores and restaurants, but the beverage maker warned of a rocky road ahead due to growing COVID-19 cases in some markets.

The beverage maker said volumes, a key demand indicator, returned to 2019 levels in March as accelerated vaccinations paved the way for the reopening of economies.

Shares of the Atlanta-based company rose about 1% in morning trading.

"Whilst we've got back above the line of flotation in March, there's no guarantee there won't be some extra degree of lockdowns in May or September or December that then puts pressure back on the business," Chief Executive Officer James Quincey told analysts.

In the past few weeks, Latin America and Africa have slowed down vaccine distribution and India, one of the best performing regions in the first quarter, is seeing a surge in cases and has put in place localized lockdowns.

"The reality is that there are more cases now than there were a while ago. We still feel very confident... but there's a lot of managing left to do," Quincey said.

Net revenue rose about 5% to $9.02 billion for the quarter ended April 2 - the first increase after four quarters of declines - beating the average analyst estimate of $8.63 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

On an adjusted basis, Coca-Cola earned 55 cents per share, 5 cents more than estimates.

Coca-Cola is now seeking a place in more pantries through single-serve multipacks, smaller packaging, refills and returnable glass bottles.

"There's been a lot of underlying progress and Coke's brand is definitely strong enough to carry the group to a recovery," Hargreaves Lansdow William Ryder said.

Coca-Cola also separately announced plans to list its African bottling operations, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), as a publicly traded company. As part of the IPO, Coca-Cola will sell a portion of its 66.5% stake in CCBA.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)