Coke sales continue to lose their fizz


Coca-Cola sign

Coca-Cola’s global sales slid 7% in the three months to September as consumers kept the lid on carbonated drinks.

The fall to $10.6bn (£8.67bn) was the sixth consecutive quarterly decline in revenue for the world’s biggest soft drinks company.

The Latin America and Europe, Middle East and Africa regions both posted a 4% slide in sales, although North America had 3% growth and Asia rose 4%.

Water and sports drinks helped drive a 3% rise in still beverage sales.

Net profit also fell 28% to $1.05bn (£859m) in the quarter.

Both revenue and profits were slightly better than analysts had expected, helping shares to rise almost 1% in New York to $42.88. The stock is flat for the year to date.

Volume sales of carbonated drinks such as Sprite, Fanta and Coca-Cola Zero were behind the 3% rise in North America to $2.66bn, while Diet Coke sales fell.

Sales of non-carbonated drinks, including iced tea, juices and energy drinks, rose 2% in North America.

Coca-Cola bottlesImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The launch of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the UK, which replaced Coca-Cola Zero, enjoyed “strong double-digit unit case volume growth”.

The company’s new “One Brand” strategy, which gives Coca Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, and Coca Cola Life a common visual identity, has now been introduced to 12 of its top markets.

James Quincey, Coca-Cola president and chief operating officer, told a conference last month that a new global marketing campaign called Taste the Feeling was beginning to boost sales.

“We see encouraging results in terms of retail sales growth of the Coca-Cola brand in total,” he said. “We believe that marketing takes its time to build up. It is a huge business, and the Coca-Cola business is not going to suddenly change overnight.”