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Coca-Cola Co. products sit in a crate before being unwrapped and stocked on shelves inside a Shell Gas Station in Kentucky, U.S., on Monday, April 13, 2015.Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage company, posted first-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates after it enticed consumers to pay more for its drinks.

Net income fell 3.8 per cent to $1.56-billion (U.S.), or 35 cents a share, from $1.62-billion, or 36 cents, a year earlier, Atlanta– based Coca-Cola said Wednesday in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 48 cents a share. Analysts estimated 42 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent has deemed 2015 a "transition year" as he waits for cost cuts and increased marketing to kick in while raising drink prices. The company has struggled to counter a global consumer malaise that has spread to emerging markets. Global sales volume grew 1 per cent.

"Coca-Cola has been diligent in driving net price realization in the U.S. through both pricing inflation and mix benefits through smaller package formats," Bonnie Herzog, an analyst for Wells Fargo & Co., said in a note before the results were released.

Coca-Cola shares rose 1.3 per cent to $41.33 at 7:35 a.m. in New York. The shares slid 3.4 per cent this year through Tuesday, compared with a 1.9 per cent gain for the Standard & Poor's 500 Index.

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