Coke reports 18% profit dip

Coca-Cola has reported an 18% dip in quarterly profit, hit by a strong dollar and an impairment charge related to its biggest distributor.

Net income dropped to $995m (£700m) in the three months ended 31 December from $1.2bn (£844m) a year earlier.

Excluding the write-downs related to distributor Coca-Cola Enterprises, operating income rose 12% to $1.7bn (£1.19bn).

The drop in fourth quarter net income dragged full-year net profit down 3% to $5.8bn £4.1bn).

The drinks giant, which last month unveiled its latest global advertising campaign and new strapline ‘Open Happiness’ for its core Coca-Cola brand, saw worldwide net revenues dip 3% in the fourth quarter.

In Europe, revenues slid 3% while unit case volume increased 2% in the quarter.

Sparkling beverages, which includes the Coca-Cola, Sprite and Fanta brands, had global volume growth of 2% while still drinks including Dasani water and Powerade, increased 11%.

Muhtar Kent, president and chief executive officer of Coca-Cola, says the “solid” fourth quarter results and full-year performance reflects “the universal appeal of our global brands”.

Kent is tipped to succeed Neville Isdell as chairman of The Coca-Cola.

Shares climbed 3.4% to $42.66 (£30) soon after the results were announced today (12 February).

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