Coke on track to meet 2017 profit and revenue targets

Coca-Cola has reported flat revenues for the first quarter of 2017 on an organic basis year-on-year - though net revenues slumped 11% largely due to structural changes.

Coke: recent ad sees a brother and sister compete for their pool boy's affections
Coke: recent ad sees a brother and sister compete for their pool boy's affections

The changes relate to the company’s arrangements with its bottling partners around the world. A number of these are going through mergers – such as Coca-Cola European Partners, which formed last year from a merger of UK bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises, with its Spanish and German counterparts.

But outgoing chief executive Muhtar Kent said the quarter's performance, which was also hit by this year’s later Easter, was in line with the company’s plans.

Slight shifts in global volume sales reflect the challenge for the business, as it rebalances away from carbonated drinks.

Net revenues fell 11% year-on-year to $9.12bn (£7.12bn), while consolidated organic revenue was flat. 

Unit case volume sales of sparkling soft drinks fell 1%; while water and sports drinks grew 3%, and coffee and tea 2%, this was only just enough to offset the decline in sparkling soft drinks, resulting in flat volumes overall.

Chief operating officer James Quincey, who will succeed Kent as chief executive next week, said: "We are rapidly evolving our growth model to make changes that will result in an even more consumer-centric portfolio that meets people's changing tastes and preferences.

"Importantly, these portfolio changes will help our consumers moderate the amount of added sugar they consume."

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