Higher prices help push Coca-Cola sales ahead of expectations

Coca-Cola has reported first-quarter sales of £8.2 billion ($10.5 billion), ahead of market expectations, with organic growth of 18%.

Furthermore, underlying operating profit grew 24% to £2.7 billion ($3.4 billion). That reflected higher revenue offsetting increased marketing and acquisition costs.

The group continues to expect full-year organic revenue growth of 7-8%, with cost inflation in the mid-single digits.

“Volumes pretty much grew across the board as some weaker comparable periods were lapped from last year and key out-of-home channels were back up and running,” Hargreaves Lansdown equity analyst Matt Britzman said.

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“Given Coca-Cola stretched the balance sheet to buy Bodyarmor and Costa, it’s good to see sales in the sports drink and coffee segments leading the way.”

Britzman added: “The reopening of Costa stores in the UK provided a relatively easy win given last year’s closures, but nonetheless progress is good to see.

“Cost inflation’s expected to be a mid-single-digit headwind into 2022 but there’s nothing concrete to suggest further price action is imminent, with management pointing to a ‘lets see how it goes’ approach as we move through the year.”

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