Today Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) reported worldwide volume growth of 2% in the third quarter and 2% year to date.  The Company also reported growth in global value share in the quarter in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages as well as in both core sparkling and still beverages.

Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said, “We delivered sound third quarter results in the confines of an ongoing challenged macroeconomic environment driven by increasing volatility across emerging markets.  While we are certainly not immune to the impact of global macroeconomic events, our 2020 Vision and long-term strategies remain firmly intact.  Together with our global bottling partners, we are investing in our brands and our capabilities to further strengthen our system and to drive sustainable growth and value.”

Worldwide sparkling beverage volume was up 1% in the quarter and 2% year to date.  Global brand Coca-Cola volume grew 2% in both the quarter and year to date, with growth in the quarter across diverse markets, including Thailand +27%, India +22%, Russia +11%, the Philippines +9%, Germany +8% and North America +2%.

Worldwide still beverage volume grew 3% in the quarter, cycling strong 10% growth, with volume growth across most beverage categories and volume and value share gains in ready-to-drink tea, juice and juice drinks and sports drinks.

The full press release, including more facts and figures about our third quarter results, can be found here.

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 by clicking here on Coca-Cola Journey.

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 at the link below.  We’ll also have a transcript of the call available at the same link shortly.

Muhtar Kent on overall results:

“We delivered sequential volume growth in the third quarter while capturing global nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverage value share for the 25th consecutive quarter. We also gained volume and value share across core sparkling, juice and juice drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink tea.

Importantly, we were able to do this in combination with a 2% increase in price/mix. Excluding the impact of structural items, we generated comparable currency neutral net revenue growth of 4% and strong operating income growth of 8%.

Our broad, diversified product portfolio, a disciplined approach to extracting and reinvesting savings, and our global geographic reach are enabling us to effectively navigate a still uncertain macroeconomic environment.

History has taught us that when we invest through difficult times, we emerge even stronger.

This quarter our system delivered the highest number of servings ever reported in a third quarter, both for brand Coca-Cola and across our portfolio. In all, we delivered 181 billion servings thanks to global volume growth of 2%, driven by 2% global growth in brand Coca-Cola.

This record number of servings speaks not only to our system’s worldwide strength, but also to the opportunities ahead of us as we engage with the next generation of global consumers.”

Gary Fayard, Chief Financial Officer on financial results:

“Our third quarter results underscore several key points:

First, the global economy is still struggling to recover, with increasing volatility across emerging markets;

Second, slowing economic growth clearly impacted consumer spending and overall NARTD industry growth in the quarter; and

Third, in spite of these macro trends, our strategies and solid execution enabled us to once again capture global value share and to deliver solid financial performance.  

As Muhtar said, we grew our global volume 2% in the quarter while at the same time delivering solid financial results. While we are pleased with this sequential volume improvement, we remain focused on further advancing our volume growth trajectory over time.”

Muhtar Kent on Continued Commitment:

“We benefited from marked sequential improvement in several key markets; we achieved robust and widespread growth of our flagship brand; and we delivered solid financial results. Our efforts to enhance the health of our system are working, as evidenced by our broad-based growth, improving execution, successful productivity and reinvestment actions, and strong cash generation.

At the same time, we also acknowledge that we have more work to do as we will no doubt face headwinds as we work toward our 2020 Vision. 

Nevertheless, the nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverage industry is a vibrant and rewarding business to compete in and our business has consistently grown.

And, I can assure you, that the underlying forces that shaped our 2020 Vision just a few years ago remain very much intact today.

Together with our global system partners, our Roadmap is enabling us to strategically invest, both through good times and challenging times, to deliver long-term sustainable performance.”

Find the audio file here.

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