Coca-Cola Reports Strong Growth in Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019

  • Net Revenues Grew 16% for the Quarter and 9% for the Full Year;
  • Organic Revenues (Non-GAAP) Grew 7% for the Quarter and 6% for the Full Year
  • Operating Income Grew 19% for the Quarter and 10% for the Full Year; Comparable Currency
  • Neutral Operating Income (Non-GAAP) Grew 23% for the Quarter and 13% for the Full Year
  • Fourth Quarter EPS Grew 134% to $0.47 and Comparable EPS (Non-GAAP) Grew 1% to $0.44;
  • Full Year EPS Grew 38% to $2.07 and Comparable EPS (Non-GAAP) Grew 1% to $2.11
  • Cash from Operations Was $10.5 Billion for the Full Year, Up 37%;
  • Full Year Free Cash Flow (Non-GAAP) Was $8.4 Billion, Up 38%
  • Company Provides 2020 Financial Outlook

ATLANTA, Jan. 30, 2020 – The Coca-Cola Company today reported another quarter of strong growth, along with achieving or exceeding all guidance for the full year 2019. The company continued to execute its growth strategy, allowing it to deliver strong revenue and profit growth for the quarter and full year while gaining value share globally.

"We made good progress in 2019 by delivering on our financial commitments and growing in a more sustainable way," said James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "We continue to transform the organization to act with a growth mindset, which gives us confidence in our 2020 targets and our ability to create a better shared future for all of our stakeholders."

Highlights

Quarterly / Full Year Performance

  • Revenues: Net revenues grew 16% to $9.1 billion for the quarter and 9% to $37.3 billion for the year. Organic revenues (non-GAAP) grew 7% for the quarter and 6% for the year. Revenue growth for the quarter was driven by concentrate sales growth of 2% and price/mix growth of 5%. The quarter included one additional day, which resulted in an approximate 1-point benefit to revenue growth. Revenue growth for the year was driven by concentrate sales growth of 1% and price/mix growth of 5%.
  • Margin: For the quarter, operating margin, which included items impacting comparability, was 23.9% versus 23.4% in the prior year, while comparable operating margin (non-GAAP) was 24.8% in both the current and prior year. For the year, operating margin, which included items impacting comparability, was 27.1% versus 26.7% in the prior year. Comparable operating margin (non-GAAP) was 27.9% versus 28.8% in the prior year. For both the quarter and full year, strong underlying margin expansion was more than offset by headwinds from currency and net acquisitions.
  • Earnings per share: For the quarter, EPS grew 134% to $0.47, and comparable EPS (non-GAAP) grew 1% to $0.44. For the year, EPS grew 38% to $2.07, and comparable EPS (non-GAAP) grew 1% to $2.11. Both fourth quarter and full year comparable EPS (non-GAAP) performance included the impact of an 8-point currency headwind.
  • Market share: The company continued to gain value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages.
  • Cash flow: Cash from operations was $10.5 billion for the year, up 37% largely due to strong underlying growth, accelerated timing of working capital initiatives and the reduction of productivity and restructuring costs. Full year free cash flow (non-GAAP) was $8.4 billion, up 38%.

Company Updates

  • Gaining share across the total portfolio: In 2019, the company continued to grow its total portfolio, which led to the largest value share gains in almost a decade, with contribution from both sparkling and non-sparkling offerings. In sparkling, trademark Coca-Cola grew 6% retail value globally as it continued to scale innovative offerings such as Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, now available in more than 40 markets. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar continued to expand its footprint, achieving another year of double-digit volume growth. In the non-sparkling portfolio, innocent, one of the company's juice and smoothie brands, continued to perform well led by innovative products such as innocent plus, a premium juice offering with added vitamins. The innocent brand scaled beyond its flagship market of Europe, launching in Japan during 2019 with more expansion planned in 2020.
  • Enabling growth through M&A: The company continues to expand its portfolio and capabilities through strategic acquisitions of brands in on-trend categories. Most recently, the company acquired full ownership of the value-added dairy business, fairlife, LLC. Value-added dairy products have been one of the fastest-growing categories in the United States, with fairlife being a large contributor to sales growth. fairlife’s continued success has been supported by new product innovations, ranging from lactose-free, ultra-filtered milk with less sugar and more protein than competing brands, to high-protein recovery and nutrition shakes and drinkable snacks. The brand has been supported by the reach of the U.S. Coca-Cola system, with products distributed through the Minute Maid distribution system and Coca-Cola bottlers across the country. The acquisition closed at the start of 2020.
  • Continued progress toward a World Without Waste: Packaging remains an ongoing focus, and there were many examples of advances during the year. Bottles made from 100% recycled PET (rPET) were available in 12 markets. Coca-Cola Sweden announced it would be the first market in the world to transition to 100% rPET for all plastic bottles made in-country. The company’s investments included $19 million for a new bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in the Philippines. In the United States, the company teamed with partners and major competitors to launch the “Every Bottle Back” program during the fourth quarter. This includes a new $100 million industry fund that will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection in areas with the biggest infrastructure gaps to help increase the amount of recycled plastic available to be remade into beverage bottles.
  • Growing revenue while reducing calories: Coca-Cola has teamed with industry counterparts to reduce the amount of calories Americans consume. The Balance Calories Initiative, launched in 2014, is the single-largest voluntary effort by an industry to help fight obesity. Coca-Cola is using its marketing resources and distribution network to boost awareness of, and interest in, the company’s ever-expanding portfolio of low- and no-calorie beverages and smaller packaging options, such as 7.5-oz. mini cans. These efforts are yielding results, as consumption of beverage calories has declined, driven by a reduction in calories consumed from full-sugar beverages, even as sales of sparkling soft drinks continue to grow.

Notes

All references to growth rate percentages and share compare the results of the period to those of the prior year comparable period.

All references to volume and volume percentage changes indicate unit case volume, unless otherwise noted. All volume percentage changes are computed based on average daily sales, unless otherwise noted. "Unit case" means a unit of measurement equal to 24 eight-ounce servings of finished beverage. "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.

"Concentrate sales" represents the amount of concentrates, syrups, beverage bases, source waters and powders/minerals (in all instances expressed in equivalent unit cases) sold by, or used in finished beverages sold by, the company to its bottling partners or other customers. In the reconciliation of reported net revenues, "concentrate sales" represents the percent change in net revenues attributable to the increase (decrease) in concentrate sales volume for the geographic operating segments and the Global Ventures operating segment (excluding Costa non-RTD sales) (expressed in equivalent unit cases) after considering the impact of structural changes. For the Bottling Investments operating segment, this represents the percent change in net revenues attributable to the increase (decrease) in unit case volume computed based on total sales (rather than average daily sales) in each of the corresponding periods after considering the impact of structural changes. The Bottling Investments operating segment reflects unit case volume growth for consolidated bottlers only. 

"Price/mix" represents the change in net operating revenues caused by factors such as price changes, the mix of products and packages sold, and the mix of channels and geographic territories where the sales occurred.

First quarter 2019 financial results were impacted by one less day as compared to the same period in 2018, and fourth quarter 2019 financial results were impacted by one additional day as compared to the same period in 2018. Unit case volume results for the quarters are not impacted by the variances in days due to the average daily sales computation referenced above.