ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit rose 8 percent, as it offset higher costs with price increases and volume grew worldwide.
The world's largest soft-drink maker, which has more than 500 brands including Fanta, Sprite, Dasani and Minute Maid in addition to its namesake, has shown consistent growth for years, but it is being increasingly pressured by rising costs and consumers' cautious spending due to the turbulent economy, especially in the U.S. and Europe. It is increasingly focusing on emerging markets like Latin America, India and China, to drive growth.
Gross margin — the proportion of each dollar of revenue the company keeps as profit — fell to 60.2 percent from 65.4 percent, an indication of how higher costs are eating into Coke's profit.
The Atlanta-based company said volume grew 5 percent in North America and worldwide. Worldwide volume growth was driven by the Coca-Cola brand, which rose 3 percent.
In North America, the company raised prices about 2 percent to offset higher commodity and other costs, including a 3 percent price increase on sparkling beverages. Excluding a cross-licensing deal with Dr Pepper, volume rose 1 percent.
Demand was strongest in emerging markets, including a 19 percent increase in volume in India and a 7 percent increase in Latin America. Volume was flat in Europe.
Net income rose to $2.22 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the three months ended Sept. 30. That's up from $2.06 billion, or 88 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.03 per share. Analysts expected earnings of $1.02 per share.
Revenue rose 45 percent to $12.25 billion from $8.43 billion a year ago. Analysts expected $12.05 billion. Results were helped by the acquisition of its largest bottler.
Its shares rose 34 cents to $67.34 in premarket trading.