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Coca-Cola's Profit Dips As Soda Declines At Home

Tue, 07/16/2013 - 8:32am
Candice Choi, AP Food Industry Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Coca-Cola says it profit dipped in the latest quarter, as the world's largest beverage maker sold less soda in its flagship North American market.

The Atlanta-based company, which makes Sprite, Powerade and Dasani, says global volume rose 1 percent in the quarter. But in North America, volume fell 1 percent, including a 4 percent drop in sodas.

The company blamed the performance on bad weather and challenging economic conditions.

Coke's shares fell more than 3 percent in premarket trading.

Coca-Cola is increasingly pinning its plans for growth on emerging markets with expanding middle-class populations. Back at home, meanwhile, the company is battling a years-long decline in soda consumption and criticism that its drinks fuel obesity rates.

As Americans drink less soda, the company has also been pushing drinks such as Dasani and SmartWater. It said volume for such still beverages rose 5 percent for the three months ended June 28 in North America.

Along with rival PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola is also working on coming up with a soda formula that uses a natural, low-calorie sweetener. The challenge is that such sweeteners often have a bad aftertaste. But executives at both companies have nevertheless expressed optimism that such a drink can help halt the industry's slide.

For the second quarter, Coca-Cola Co. says it earned $2.68 billion, or 59 cents per share. That's down 4 percent from $2.79 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company said it earned 63 cents per share, in line with Wall Street expectations.

Revenue fell to $12.75 billion, short of the $12.95 billion analysts expected.

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