Coca-Cola's revenue misses on weak China, LatAm markets

Wed Jul 27, 2016 11:13am EDT
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By Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co KO.N reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to weakness in China and certain Latin American economies, and the company warned of no improvement in those markets for the rest of the year.

Shares of the world's largest beverage maker, which also cut its full-year organic revenue growth forecast, fell 3.63 percent to a more than three-month low of $43.25 on Wednesday.

Sales in China are being pressured as wholesalers bring down inventory levels in response to weakening consumer environment in the country, Chief Operating Officer James Quincey said on a post-earnings conference call.

China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the global financial crisis.

Coke said it was working to combat changing consumer tastes in China, such as the growing demand for premium water and the falling popularity of its juices, by introducing more premium offerings and expanding in second-tier and rural areas with more affordable products.

The company, like several other multinational companies, is also struggling with high levels of inflation in some Latin American economies, including Brazil, Venezuela and Argentina.

Quincey said recent steps taken by Argentina to improve its economy caused a near-term contraction that accelerated in the second quarter, impacting the company's business there.

Latin America accounted for 9 percent of Coca-Cola's total revenue in 2015.   Continued...

Logos are seen on Coca-Cola bottles in Zurich, February 16, 2011. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo