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Coke’s worldwide volume climbs in second quarter

July 22, 2014, 12:31 PM UTC
Coca-Cola bottles.

Coca-Cola: Step away from the soda

Last year largely confirmed what Coke drinkers have feared for years: Soda (even diet soda) is most likely not good for your health. Some researchers now purport that artificial sweeteners may negatively affect the metabolism and lead people to gain weight. Roughly 60% of Coca-Cola's U.S. revenue comes from soda, but that may not be the case for very long as sales continue to plunge in America. In December, the president of Coca-Cola Americas decided to leave the company. A new team of leadership should spend a large part of 2014 creating new products that will keep an increasingly health-conscious customer base interested.
Photograph by Lionel Bonaventure—Getty Images

Coca-Cola’s second-quarter profit dropped 3% as currency headwinds ate into the company’s bottom line, though the beverages giant reported modest worldwide volume growth.

Volume rose 3% overall, bolstered by gains for carbonated beverages, teas, packaged water and sports drinks. Worldwide Coca-Cola volume grew 1%, while volume increased 6% for Sprite and 2% for Fanta.

Notably, the Coca-Cola brand also grew 1% in North America. The largest soda companies in the U.S. are facing pressure in their home market as demand for carbonated soft drinks—the biggest category in the beverages business—has posted industry volumes declines for nine straight years according to trade publication Beverage Digest.

For the latest quarter, Coke (KO) reported a profit of $2.6 billion, or 58 cents a share, down from $2.68 billion, or 59 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding various charges, adjusted profit rose to 64 cents a share from 63 cents. Net operating revenue fell 1% to $12.57 billion.

Analysts had expected an adjusted profit of 63 cents a share on $12.83 billion in revenue.

Diet sodas like Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, seen as the industry’s savior, have especially struggled lately as some consumers worry about the sweeteners used in those products. Some are now looking toward sugar-free and aspartame-free sodas, and giant beverage companies like Coke are reportedly mulling new product launches while taking a cautious stance as they don’t want to hurt their existing portfolio.

Other initiatives seem to be progressing smoothly. Coke has a development deal in the works with Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) to produce and sell single-serve pods for a cold-beverage system that is expected to dispense carbonated drinks, teas and other beverages.

Results from top rival Pepsi (PEP) are due on Wednesday.