Coke profit falls on wet weather, weak economy

Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:24am EDT
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By Martinne Geller

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: Quote) said Tuesday that second-quarter sales were weaker than expected as global economic weakness and cool weather crimped the consumption of soft drinks, sending its shares down more than 2 percent.

The company said sales volume rose 1 percent, which was below its expectations, and cited slow economies in Europe, Asia and Latin America. It also said historically wet and cold weather across various regions curbed sales of soft drinks and overall consumer spending. Sales volume measures the amount of drinks sold.

Coke Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said he believes the company's performance will improve in the second half, even though foreign exchange rates are expected to hurt earnings by 4 percent. The company's prior view was for a 2 percentage point hit.

Quarterly net income dipped to $2.68 billion, or 59 cents per share, from $2.79 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items such as restructuring charges and tax matters, earnings were 63 cents per share, in line with the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue dropped 3 percent to $12.75 billion, missing expectations of $12.96 billion. Foreign exchange rates hurt revenue by 2 percent.

By region, sales volume fell 1 percent in North America and 4 percent in Europe, but rose 2 percent in Latin America, 9 percent in Eurasia and Africa, and 2 percent in the Pacific region.

JP Morgan analyst John Faucher said volume results were was below his expectations in all regions except North America.   Continued...

A woman walks near Coca-Cola vehicles during rainfall in Yangon June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun