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Coca-Cola Lifts Profit Forecast As Soda Demand Rises

Coca-Cola Co has raised its full-year profit forecast, indicating that higher prices and demand for its sodas across the globe were helping it counter a profit squeeze from supply chain disruptions.

The beverage giant's shares rose 3% in premarket trading as it also beat estimates for third-quarter revenue and profit.

Coca-Cola's revenue surged 16% to $10.04 billion in the quarter, as the reopening of public venues such as theaters, stadiums and restaurants across the world led to a rebound in demand for its soft drinks.

Unit case volumes, a key indicator of demand, were up 6% in the reported quarter, with Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America markets being their major drivers.

Price Rise

The average value of products sold also rose 6%, after Coca-Cola raised prices to counter some of the impact from surging commodity and freight costs created by clogged shipping ports, a labour shortage and the pandemic.

Other companies, including PepsiCo and consumer goods giants Unilever and Procter & Gamble, have warned that they would have to increase prices again to counter persistent supply-chain bottlenecks.

PepsiCo, which raised prices recently, said this month it would likely implement more hikes again early next year to overcome everything from a shortage of Gatorade bottles to a lack of truck drivers.

'Not Immune To Inflation'

"While Coke is not immune to inflation, and could see more of it next year, improvements in its operations and new product innovation should help offset at least some of the impact from rising costs," Edward Jones analyst John Boylan said.

Coca-Cola expects its annual adjusted earnings per share to rise 15% to 17%, compared with a prior forecast of a 13% to 15% increase.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 65 cents per share in the third quarter, beating analysts' estimates of 58 cents, according to IBES data from Refintiv.

The beverage giant recently announced its first planned commercialisation of technologies to convert second-generation biomass to plant-based monoethylene glycol (bMEG), in association with Changchun Meihe Science & Technology and UPM.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more A-Brands stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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