New Delhi: Coca Cola posted 8 percent volume growth in the October-December quarter in India but its business in the country was slower during 2013 than in recent years amidst slowing economic environment.
The Atlanta-based company that posted a net income of USD 1.7 billion during the fourth quarter, down 8 percent from USD 1.86 billion in the year-ago period, said India, China and Japan led the firm's volume growth in its Pacific group.
"Our Pacific Group's volume grew 4 per cent in the quarter, representing a sequential improvement versus the third quarter year-to-date results. Growth was broad based with 8 percent growth in India, 5 percent growth in China and 3 percent growth in Japan," it said in a statement.
This marked Coca-Cola India's 30th consecutive quarter of growth, 19 of which are double digits.
Coca Cola's overall net operating revenues were down 4 percent to USD 11.040 billion from USD 11.455 billion in the fourth quarter.
Its Bottling Investments Group's (BIG) volume grew 7 percent in the quarter on a comparable basis, led by Germany, China and India, after adjusting for the net impact of structural changes, primarily the deconsolidation of the Philippine and Brazilian bottling operations in 2013.
The slowdown in the Indian economy, however, had its impact on its volume sales on a yearly basis.
"Our China and India businesses both grew slower than in recent years amidst slowing economic environments, but saw stronger performance in the second half of the year due to a focus on execution and normalised weather," the company said.
The Coca-Cola Company Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said: "2013 was marked by ongoing global macroeconomic challenges in many markets around the world. And while our business was not immune to these pressures leading to moderated global volume growth, we delivered sound financial results in line with our long-term profit targets..."
The company gained global value share in total non- alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages as well as global volume and value share in core sparkling and still beverages for the year, he added.
On the outlook, Kent said: "A rising middle class, greater urbanisation and increasing personal consumption expenditures in markets around the world will continue to drive greater demand for our beverages as consumers look for moments of refreshment. As we work to restore momentum in our business during 2014, we see many reasons to believe we can accelerate our growth..."
Coca Cola further said it expects to save USD 1 billion through its productivity enhancement by 2016 that will be redirected primarily into increased media investments such as advertising.
First Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 21:22