Coke posts Q4 profit, but China numbers down

Posted by Dave Landis on February 9th, 2011 in China | No Comments

Coca Cola on sale in China. Credit: Emilie Mocellin/AFP/Getty Images

Coca Cola announced their earnings today and they are very pleased with the results.  Coke’s net income  more than doubled to $5.78bn, or $2.46 per share, compared to a year ago.  Earning were boosted by the CCE  bottler acquisition and selling more beverages in North America.

“We once again delivered strong results this quarter, with volume growth realised across all five of our geographic operating groups,” said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola’s chief executive.

Credit Suisse analyst Carlos Laboy said the soft drink company  is “hitting on all cylinders.”

However, the sale numbers for China took some analysts by surprise, falling 3 percent in Q4 against the same period last year. China is Coke’s third largest market, trailing the United States and Mexico.  For 2010, its sales rose 6 percent.

Coca Cola doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the slight dip from the last quarter, attributing the drop to the different timing of sales aimed at the Lunar New Year holiday.

In 2010  Coke Cola’s China business started an early sales push for the the Lunar New Year and  fourth-quarter sales leaped 29 per cent,  but Q1 2010 volume sales increased only 6 per cent. This year, the Chinese New Year sales will be seen in first-quarter 2011 sales.

Coke executives have seen consistent double-digit growth in the Middle Kingdom and with the expansion of bottling facilities in some of the more remote regions of the nation, they expect to see that expansion continue, even with competition from Chinese soft drink companies.

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