The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) reported worldwide volume growth of 3% for the second quarter and 2% year to date, and gained value share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages, as we continue to leverage the strongest portfolio of brands in the industry.

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company said, “At the beginning of this year, we shared our strategic plan to restore the momentum of our global business.  As we now reach the midpoint of the year, we have delivered sound financial performance year to date and demonstrated sequential improvement in our global volume growth.  While I am pleased with our progress to date, we remain focused on the work required to return our business to the level of sustainable growth we and our shareowners expect.  For the remainder of the year, we will continue to focus intently on our five strategic priorities in order to deliver quality results and further advance our progress toward achieving our 2020 Vision.”

View the full press release, including more facts and figures about second quarter and year-to-date results.

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.

Afternoon Update:

Following the release of our earnings this morning, our Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent and CFO Kathy Waller conducted a call with financial analysts.  Below are some highlights of what was said.  If you missed listening to the webcast discussing our second quarter 2014 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:
“Half way through the year, I am pleased to report that we have delivered another quarter of sequentially improving performance results.  While I am pleased with this year to date progress, we are conscious of the fact that we still have more work to do.

We close out the second quarter with 3% global volume growth, including global sparkling growth of 2%.

We are seeing a number of encouraging signs across our global operating system, including:

  • Brand Coca-Cola growth of 1% in North America along with solid 3% sparkling price/mix;
  • Improving volume across several markets in Europe;
  • Continued balanced volume growth in Eurasia and Africa;
  • Strong performance in key markets in our Asia Pacific operations including 9% growth in China, double-digit growth in India, and 1% growth in Japan;
  • And steady execution in the face of a challenging macroenvironment in Latin America.

We are making steady progress and we are where we expected to be at this stage in the year. I look forward to providing you with additional updates as we continue to restore our global momentum in the months ahead.”

Kathy Waller, Chief Financial Officer on creating shareowner value:
“In my more than 25 years with the Company, I have seen our business evolve and grow over time while remaining strategically focused on doing the right things to drive long-term sustainable growth.

Cash generated from operating activities was a strong $4.5 billion in the first half of the year and we continue to make capital deployment decisions based on a consistent and disciplined framework as we have outlined before.

First, we reinvest in the business, which includes making the necessary investments to strengthen our brands. It also includes capital investments, which we expect to be roughly $2.5 billion for the year. 

Second, we reward shareowners by paying a healthy dividend, which we have increased annually for more than a half century. 

Next, we evaluate opportunities to grow through acquisitions, partnerships and joint ventures. We view these as enablers to help accelerate growth and create value in a capital efficient manner.

And lastly, we repurchase shares. Year to date, our net share repurchases totaled $1.3 billion, and we are on track for net share repurchases in the $2.5 to $3 billion dollar range for the full year.

In closing, we delivered sound financial performance in the first half of 2014 and we expect to continue our sound financial performance over the remainder of the year.”

Muhtar Kent on accelerating sparkling growth:
“As noted earlier, our global sparkling brands grew 2% in the second quarter thanks to solid performance across our portfolio of billion dollar sparkling brands including Sprite, Fanta, Coca-Cola Zero and Schweppes. This led to our 19th consecutive quarter of core sparkling value share gains.

We grew global brand Coca-Cola 1%, a sequential improvement from the first quarter of 2014.

Diet Coke / Coca-Cola Light declined mid single digits. While this was also a sequential improvement from the first quarter, we recognize that we have more work to do. 

The growth of brand Coca-Cola in North America gives us great confidence that our focus on driving incidence, best-in-class marketing, and continuously evolving our price/pack architecture is setting the foundation for well-balanced growth in our flagship market.

We remain optimistic about our sparkling business, and we are committed to supporting our brands, driving execution and staying at the forefront of evolving consumer needs.”

Click here to find the MP3 file of the webcast.

View the full press release, including more facts and figures about second quarter and year-to-date results.