Today, our Company reports continued worldwide unit case volume growth in 2009, which drove share gains in sparkling, still and total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages for the year, and full year profit growth in line with our long-term target.

  • Strong worldwide unit case volume growth of 5 percent in the quarter and 3 percent for the full year, in line with our long-term volume target, and driven by international volume growth of 6 percent in the quarter and 4 percent for the full year.

  • Fourth quarter reported EPS was $0.66, up 53 percent, with comparable EPS up 3 percent to $0.66. Full year reported EPS was $2.93, up 18 percent, while comparable EPS was down 3 percent to $3.06 reflecting a negative currency impact.

  • Reported operating income increased 4 percent in the quarter, and decreased 3 percent for the full year. Comparable currency neutral operating income was even for the quarter, and grew 7 percent for the full year, in line with our long-term target.

  • Strong cash flow generation continued, with full year cash from operations up 8 percent to $8.2 billion.

  • Global nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverage volume and value share gains continued for the tenth consecutive quarter.

  • Productivity initiatives are well on track to achieve our goal of $500 million in annualized savings by year-end 2011, with more than half of the savings realized by year-end 2009.

ATLANTA  --  The Coca-Cola Company reports solid fourth quarter 2009 operating results, with unit case volume increasing 5 percent, successfully cycling 4 percent growth in the prior year quarter. For the full year, unit case volume increased 3 percent, in line with our long-term volume target. Internationally, we achieved broad-based unit case volume growth of 6 percent in the fourth quarter, cycling 6 percent growth in the prior year quarter. In the quarter, unit case volume increased strongly in key emerging markets (China +29 percent, India +20 percent), developing markets (Brazil +8 percent, Mexico +4 percent) and developed markets (France +12 percent, Germany +3 percent). Further, in the 118 countries with per capita consumption of Company products less than 150 eight-ounce servings per year, we achieved 12 percent unit case volume growth in the quarter.

We gained volume and value share globally in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages for the tenth consecutive quarter with share gains across most key categories. For the year, we gained volume and value share in total NARTD beverages as well as in both the sparkling and still beverage categories. The combined power of the global "Open Happiness" campaign and the strength of holiday programs drove growth in brand Coca-Cola. Brand Coca-Cola unit case volume grew a solid 4 percent in the quarter, with strong growth across global markets, including 22 percent in India, 13 percent in China, 12 percent in France, 5 percent in Mexico and 4 percent in Germany. Total sparkling beverage unit case volume increased 3 percent in the quarter, with international sparkling beverage unit case volume increasing 5 percent, cycling 4 percent growth in the prior year quarter. Total still beverage unit case volume increased 9 percent in the quarter, led by growth across the portfolio, including juices and fruit stills, teas and water brands. Still beverage unit case volume increased 14 percent internationally and was even in North America.

"We ended this year on a high note, delivering global volume and value share gains, comparable currency neutral revenue growth, improved productivity and increased cash flows," said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company.

"In a year marked by unprecedented economic uncertainty, our foundation -- leading brands, unmatched global footprint, great bottling partners and a solid financial position -- proved that we have the right ingredients for growth even under challenging economic conditions. Early last year we committed to align our Company and our system to emerge from this global crisis stronger. Our performance results for the year underscore that we are doing just that. Now, with our 2020 Vision as our roadmap, we look forward to entering our next decade of growth as we work closely together with our bottling partners to usher in a new era of winning for the Coca-Cola system."

Financial Highlights

  • Fourth quarter 2009 reported net revenues increased 5 percent and were impacted by six fewer selling days, which offset the impact of five additional selling days in first quarter 2009 results. Excluding the impact of six fewer selling days, we estimate that fourth quarter currency neutral net revenues would have been in line with our long-term target. Reported net revenues for the full year decreased 3 percent. Excluding structural changes, full year net revenues increased 4 percent on a comparable currency neutral basis.

  • Fourth quarter 2009 reported operating income increased 4 percent, and comparable currency neutral operating income was even. Excluding the impact of six fewer selling days, we estimate that fourth quarter comparable currency neutral operating income would have been ahead of our long-term target. Reported operating income for the full year decreased 3 percent. Comparable currency neutral full year operating income increased 7 percent, in line with our long-term growth target. This was driven by a continued strong focus on cost management and the leveraging of productivity initiatives.

  • Cash from operations for the full year increased 8 percent to $8.2 billion, and we repurchased $1.5 billion of our stock for the full year.

Notes

  • All references to growth rate percentages and share compare the results of the period to those of the prior year comparable period. References to cycling of growth rates compare the growth rate of the current period to that of the prior year comparable period.

  • "Concentrate sales" represents the amount of concentrates, syrups, beverage bases and powders sold by, or used in finished beverages sold by, the Company to its bottling partners or other customers.

  • "Sparkling beverages" means nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages with carbonation, including energy drinks and carbonated waters and flavored waters.

  • "Still beverages" means nonalcoholic beverages without carbonation, including noncarbonated waters, flavored waters and enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks.

  • All unit case volume percentage changes are computed based on average daily sales for the fourth quarter and are computed on a reported basis for the full year. "Unit case" means a unit of measurement equal to 24 eight-ounce servings of finished beverage, and "unit case volume" means the number of unit cases (or unit case equivalents) of Company beverages directly or indirectly sold by the Company and its bottling partners to customers.

  • Fourth quarter 2009 results were impacted by six fewer selling days, which offset the impact of five additional selling days in first quarter 2009 results.

  • "Structural changes" refers to acquisitions or dispositions of bottling, distribution or canning operations and consolidation or deconsolidation of bottling and distribution entities for accounting purposes.

  • Our long-term growth targets referenced in this release are on a comparable currency neutral basis and exclude structural changes.

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