UPDATE 3-Coca-Cola warns of bigger hit on revenue from strong dollar

Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:56am EDT
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* Dollar to lower 2015 rev by 7 percentage points

* 3rd-qtr revenue $11.43 bln vs est. $11.54 bln

* Shares fall about 1 pct (Adds analyst quote, context)

By Anjali Athavaley and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

Oct 21 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co reported a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales due to a strong dollar, and the company said it expected the currency to hurt its full-year revenue more than previously anticipated.

The soda maker, which gets more than half of its total revenue from markets outside North America, said a strong dollar would lower its full-year revenue by 7 percentage points compared with 6 percentage points estimated earlier.

The dollar has risen 12 percent against a basket of major currencies in the past year.

Coke has called 2015 a transition year as it tries to cut costs and boost sales by raising prices and diversifying into beverages beyond soft drinks such as cold-pressed juices and energy drinks. The company has said that it is targeting $3 billion in annual cost savings by 2019.

It is also selling back its North American bottling operations to franchisees in a move to reduce low-margin assets on its balance sheet. The company said on Wednesday it signed letters of intent with three U.S. bottlers to expand distribution areas in seven states.   Continued...