For more than a century, the Coca-Cola Company KO has been "refreshing the world in mind, body, and spirit". The company aims to inspire moments of optimism, to create value and make a difference.
On Wednesday, the beverage giant revealed second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's expectations, allowing it to raise its full year forecast for adjusted earnings per share and organic revenue growth. Most importantly, some markets rebounded from the pandemic, fueling revenue to surpass 2019 levels. Shares rose more than 2% in morning trading.
Net income rose from $1.78 billion as it amounted to $2.64 billion. It resulted in adjusted earnings per share of 68 cents, exceeding the expected 56 cents. Net sales rose 42% with revenue of $10.13 billion that also exceeded the expected $9.32 billion. Excluding acquisitions and foreign currency, organic revenue rose 37% compared to last year's biggest plunge in quarterly revenue in at least three decades due to lockdowns that severely dented demand.
A significant increase in marketing and advertising spend fueled the rebound but Coca-Cola's approach isn't just about boosting spend, but also about increasing the efficiency of that spending. CFO John Murphy revealed that marketing dollars were doubled compared to last year's quarter when the pandemic forced the beverage giant to slash its costs to preserve cash.
All drink segments reported double-digit volume growth. Away-from-home channels, like restaurants and movie theaters, were rebounding in some markets, like China and Nigeria, but there are also markets that are still being heavily pressured by the pandemic such as India.
The department that contains its flagship soda saw volume increase by 14% in the quarter. The nutrition, juice, dairy, and plant-based beverage business saw a volume growth of 25%, partly fueled by Minute Maid and Fairlife milk sales in North America. The same volume growth was seen by the hydration, sports, coffee, and tea segment. Costa cafes in the United Kingdom reopened and drove 78% increase in volume for coffee alone.
The Risk Of Raising Commodity Prices
Like its F&B peers, Coke is facing higher commodity prices but it plans to raise prices and use productivity levers to manage the volatility in the second half of the year.
For the full year, Coke improved its organic revenue growth outlook from high-single-digit growth to a range of 12% to 14%. It also raised its forecast for adjusted earnings per share growth from high single digits to a low double digits range of 13% to 15%.
Putting it all together, executives emphasized the range of possible outcomes given the asynchronous recovery and dynamic of the pandemic. Coca-Cola plans to build on the strong momentum by intensifying the amount and efficacy of promotions and continuing to innovate, what it does better than anyone and what helped it earn its brand status.
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