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Emerging markets lift Coca-Cola sales

Growth in emerging markets has helped Coca-Cola maintain sales and offset sluggish growth in key markets whilst matching many analysts’ expectations.

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LONDON (Brand Republic) - Growth in emerging markets has helped Coca-Cola maintain sales and offset sluggish growth in key markets whilst matching many analysts’ expectations.

The soft-drink manufacturer announced it expected worldwide sales volumes to rise 4% to 5% during the first quarter and unit case volume for the US and Canada to rise about 1%. However, analysts believe that to reach its goal of 6% to 7% volume growth for the year, it would have had to post growth of around 3% by March 31.

Sales have been hard hit in the US, Germany and Japan, which together make up 65% of Coca-Cola’s overall profitability, but have been up as much as 10% in Asia Pacific and Africa and 5% in Latin America.

The company has greeted criticism that it should tone down ambitious volume and earnings targets with the news that it will spend as much as $500m (£347.08m) more than originally planned on marketing. This will include a series of promotions for its drinks in association with AOL Time Warner’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone movie.

Meanwhile, La Tondena Distillers, the liquor and beverage unit of brewing giant San Miguel, has said it will sell its soft-drink operation to Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines -- which San Miguel and Coca-Cola recently jointly bought from Coca-Cola Amatil of Australia -- in a deal worth $141m (£97.89m).



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