Coca-Cola predicts recovery after 'most challenging' quarter
By Nivedita Balu (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co said on Tuesday demand for its beverages was improving after reporting a 28% slump in sales in the 'most challenging' quarter of the year due to coronavirus-led closures of restaurants, theaters and sports venues.
By Nivedita Balu
(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co said on Tuesday demand for its beverages was improving after reporting a 28% slump in sales in the "most challenging" quarter of the year due to coronavirus-led closures of restaurants, theaters and sports venues.
Shares of the world's largest soda maker rose about 4% as it also beat second-quarter profit estimates.
Coca-Cola generates a sizeable portion of its revenues by selling its soft drinks and concentrates to restaurants and theater operators, such as McDonald's Corp and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, but most of them had to close some or all of their operations due to the health crisis.
But as lockdowns eased, unit case volume trends, a key demand indicator, improved sequentially, from a decline of about 25% in April to a fall of about 10% in June. Volume trends was down mid-single digits globally for July to-date.
"We cannot discount there might be further waves of lockdowns, partial or full," Chief Executive Officer James Quincey told analysts.
"Having said that, I am pretty confident that second quarter will ultimately prove to have been the most difficult and the most impacted quarter."
Adjusted revenue fell to $7.18 billion in the three months ended June 26, while net income attributable to the beverage maker's shareholders tumbled about 32% to $1.78 billion.
"With the bar adequately lowered for Q2 in recent weeks... the exit rate for volume trends for June/start to July was naturally a key focus for investors," Jefferies analyst Kevin Grundy said.
Coca-Cola is expanding its digital presence through partnerships with third-party aggregators or by adding value bundles to restaurant menus as the pandemic prompts consumers to migrate to mobile delivery for groceries and prepared meals, Quincey said.
On a per share basis, Coca-Cola earned 42 cents, beating analysts' estimate by 2 cents.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.