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A visitor drinks a bottle of Coca-Cola during a media tour at PT Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia's factory in Cibitung, Indonesia's West Java province in this February 24, 2011 file photograph. (BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS)
A visitor drinks a bottle of Coca-Cola during a media tour at PT Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia's factory in Cibitung, Indonesia's West Java province in this February 24, 2011 file photograph. (BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS)

Coke profit beats on volume growth Add to ...

Coca-Cola Co. reported higher-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday after the world’s largest soft drink maker raised some prices and sold more beverages.

The maker of Sprite, Minute Maid orange juice and vitaminwater also said it was on track with a productivity program aiming to save $550-million (U.S.) to $650-million a year by the end of 2015.

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Coke shares rose 1 per cent to $73.18 per share in premarket trading.

Soft drink sales have been strong in developing markets such as India and China with increasing numbers of middle class consumers. But growth has been harder to come by in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America, where growing health consciousness and struggling economies have curbed demand.

Still, Coke said quarterly volume rose 2 per cent in North America and 1 per cent in Europe. Volume also rose 5 per cent in Latin America, 9 per cent in Eurasia and Africa and 8 per cent in the Pacific region. Overall, volume rose 5 per cent.

First-quarter net profit was $2.05-billion, or 89 cents per share, up from $1.90-billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6 per cent to $11.14-billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 87 cents per share on revenue of $10.82-billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the key North American market, revenue rose 5 per cent, helped by a 3 percentage point increase in price and mix of products and the acquisition of a small bottler. Profit in the segment declined though, due to higher commodity costs and one less selling day.

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