Coke Reports Strong Third Quarter and YTD 2012 Results [Updated with Quotes]

Today Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) reports strong worldwide volume growth of 4% in the third quarter and 5% year-to-date. Growth in the global sparkling business has been led by brand Coca-Cola which is up a healthy 3% year-to-date.  Worldwide still beverage volume grew 10% in the quarter with solid growth across beverage categories, including packaged water, juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink tea and coffee, sports drinks and energy drinks.

The press release we issued this morning has more facts and figures about our third quarter performance, including context from our Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent.  Here’s one quick quote from Muhtar Kent before you click ahead – “Importantly, we realized growth in the quarter across all five of our global geographic operating groups, despite continued volatility in the worldwide economy. We have been able to crack the calculus for growth in this environment. We have done this by consistently investing in our system and our brands to ensure that our global portfolio is more relevant and healthier today than it has ever been.”

Click here to view the full press release.

Check back later today for more updates from our quarterly call with investors.  In the meantime, you can listen live beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET at this link.

Q3 Earnings afternoon update:
Following the release of our earnings press release this morning, our Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and CFO Gary Fayard conducted a call with financial analysts.  Below are some highlights of what was said.  If you missed listening to the webcast discussing today’s earnings, you can listen to a replay here.  We’ll also have a transcript of the call available at the same link shortly.

Muhtar Kent on Coke’s U.S. business
“I’m very pleased with the performance of our … U.S. business … We’ve increased total beverage volume and value share in this past quarter once again, driven by the 2% overall volume growth, led by 7% growth in still beverages, while … also maintaining sparkling volume on a year-to-date basis. And this is, again, (the) 10th quarter in a row of volume growth in our North America business. And I think we continue to build our occasion-based price, pack, channel strategy that provides increased consumer choice, along with preferred packages, preferred price points, which is very important in this economic environment.”

Gary Fayard, Chief Financial Officer on 2014 FIFA World Cup
“We continue to invest in Latin America because it’s such a great, great, strong market…In Brazil …we started making our initial investments around the 2014
World Cup. That’s in marketing…what we’re saying is we are continuing to invest in the brands. We’re investing well ahead of the curve. We’re getting ready for 2014 World Cup. “

Muhtar Kent on the China business
“On China, we are confident in our ability to continue growing in China, in this important market despite the changing … competitive landscape and … comparative softness in the macro conditions. And our transactions are up a healthy 7% in the past quarter. We have said it before in previous quarters that we’re focused on transactions and that’s the health of the business in China. And certainly, we’re driving transactions in a very favorable way. Year-to-date, volume is a solid 6% and our brands are very strong. We have a clear leadership position in the sparkling category, and I have total confidence in … our bottling partners, COFCO and Swire Beverages and Bottling Investments Group, will continue to deliver.”

Petro Kacur is Media Relations Director at The Coca-Cola Company.