Coca-Cola sales beat estimates as China volumes soar

Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:07pm EDT
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By Siddharth Cavale

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue as it ramped up spending on marketing and advertising, boosting sales in emerging markets such as China.

Coca-Cola, like PepsiCo Inc, has been battling falling soda sales in developed markets such as the United States as people shift to healthier options such as juices.

To help revive soda sales, Coke will embark on its biggest promotional program in history for the soccer World Cup, Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard told Reuters.

Coca-Cola is one of the key sponsors of the event, which kicks off in June in Brazil.

The company's shares rose 4 percent, bringing them back to where they were about a year ago.

Coke said in February it expected to save $1 billion annually through productivity improvements by 2016, and would redirect much of the savings into increased advertising and marketing.

"We're beginning to get our momentum back ... ," Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said on CNBC on Tuesday.

Global case volumes rose 2 percent in the quarter, while those in China rose 12 percent due to increased marketing around the Chinese New Year, the company said on Tuesday.   Continued...

A bottle of Coca-Cola is shown in this photo illustration in Encinitas, California October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake