Coca-Cola Co. released its second quarter earnings this week—and sales rebounded faster than expected.
- Net Revenues grew 42%
- Organic Revenues (Non-GAAP) grew 37%
- Operating Income grew 52%
- Operating Margin was 29.8% versus 27.7% in prior year
- Comparable Operating Margin (Non-GAAP) was 31.7% versus 30.0% in prior year
Coca-Cola’s revenue jumped 42% to $10.1 billion in the second quarter, well ahead of the $9.3 billion in sales that Wall Street had forecast, according to analysts polled by FactSet, reported ABC News (July 21).
“We are executing against our growth plans and our system is aligned,” said CEO James Quincey. “We are better equipped than ever to win in this growing, vibrant industry and to accelerate value creation for our stakeholders.”
Revenue performance included 26% growth in concentrate sales and 11% growth in price/mix. Growth was driven by the ongoing recovery in markets where coronavirus-related uncertainty is abating, along with the benefit from cycling revenue declines from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
In North America, unit case volume grew 17% during the quarter, led by recovery in the fountain business across all categories as businesses reopened and dropped capacity restrictions. At-home channel strength also continued during the quarter and continued to see volume ahead of 2019 levels.
Additionally, the company gained value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages driven by a share gain in both at-home and away-from-home channels. The company’s value share in total NARTD beverages is now ahead of the 2019 level.
“Success for Coca-Cola across all regions in Q2-2021 clearly emphasizes a step in the right direction for the company to achieve pre-COVID-19 volumes,” said Holly Inglis, Beverages Analyst at GlobalData in a press release. “Not only does growth reinforce the company’s stable market position, but highlights recovery of the non-alcoholic beverages market across many parts of the world – although countries such as India continue to be impacted by COVID-19.”
Inglis noted that Coca-Cola’s 14% growth in sparkling soft drinks is significant with the category witnessing a downward trend in recent years as consumers actively try to reduce their sugar consumption.
“Coke has gone through a major strategic shift over the past year, with discontinuing ‘zombie’ brands such as Tab, Odwalla, and Zico,” said Brian Choi, CEO of The Food Institute. “The strategy shift has improved margins. With the reopening of the economy, the earnings growth has definitely been strong.”
However, Choi noted that over long term, the company’s success depends on being able to capitalize on more emerging brands that fit within the health and wellness category. “It remains to be seen whether Coke’s management team can continue to execute on growth in a post-COVID world,” he said.
The company raised its full-year earnings forecast based on its results. It now expects organic revenue growth of 12% to 14% in 2021, up from high single-digit growth, and earnings per share growth of 13% to 15%.