Coca-Cola warns of volatile year to come

Coca-Cola bottles on display in a store in China Coca-Cola is facing a range of problems in its global markets - including sluggish economic growth

Related Stories

Coca-Cola, the world's biggest soft-drinks maker, saw sales in Europe and China fall in the last quarter of 2012 and warned the year ahead would be unpredictable.

Sales worldwide were up by 3%, but profits, though up 13%, were still below expectation at $1.87bn (£1.19bn).

The company's chief executive, Muhtar Kent, said it had been a tricky year and "we expect this volatility to extend through 2013".

Shares were down by 2%.

He said that last year had seen "the extension of prolonged uncertainty in Europe, the ongoing transition of the economy in China, the lukewarm recovery in the United States and ongoing challenges for Japanese consumers" .

Sales in China were 4% lower in the quarter after growing by 10% in the October-December period in 2011, while sales in struggling Europe fell 5% in the final quarter of the year.

One problem facing the company, whose other brands include Sprite, Fanta, Dasani and Minute Maid, is another rise in the cost of raw materials, including sweeteners, juices, metals and plastic.

Coca-Cola said it expected these to cost $100m more in the coming year.

The company's arch-rival, Pepsi, is also piling on pressure.

It has spent more on marketing, particularly on its core Pepsi brand.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Cartoon of women chatting on the metroChat wagon

    The interesting things you hear in a women-only carriage


  • Replica of a cargo boxSpecial delivery

    The man who posted himself to the other side of the world


  • Music scoreFinal score Watch

    Goodbye to NYC's last classical sheet music shop


  • Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya'Emailgate'

    Hillary gets a taste of scrutiny that lies ahead


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show

Programmes

  • A cyborg cockroachClick Watch

    The cyborg cockroach – why has a computer been attached to this insect’s nervous system?

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.