Coca-Cola sees ‘strong’ sales growth in Oct-Dec

New Delhi | Updated on February 10, 2021

Coca-Cola, on Wednesday, said the beverage major witnessed strong growth in volumes in sparkling soft drinks in India in the October-December quarter, indicating signs of recovery for the company in the country after a challenging 2020. Sparkling drinks segment is a substantial chunk of the company’s business.

On an earnings call, James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Company, said: “In India, challenges remain but at-home trends were strong and we saw signs of recovery in away-from-home channels through holidays.”

Covid impact

Recovery trends in India also come at a time when the company reported a decline of 3 per cent in global unit case volume in the quarter, as many countries witnessed a resurgence in coronavirus and imposed fresh pandemic-induced curbs on restaurants, cinemas and sporting events.

Stating that fourth quarter progress remained mixed globally, Quincey said that even in the Asia-Pacific region, different areas were in different stages of recovery.

Talking about the quarterly performance of the Asia-Pacific region, the company, in its earnings release, said: “Unit case volume declined 4 per cent for the quarter, primarily due to adverse weather in South-East Asia, along with coronavirus-related pressure in away-from-home channels in most markets in the region. Volume performance included solid growth in sparkling soft drinks in China and India.”

The beverage major also said it faced “incremental pressure” in December and early part of 2021 due to the resurgence of coronavirus in many parts of the world.

“Through early February 2021, the company has experienced a volume decline of mid-single digits globally, with continued elevated levels of sales in at-home channels being more than offset by pressure in away-from-home channels,” said Coca-Cola in its earnings release.

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Published on February 10, 2021
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