Coca-Cola has raised prices to offset inflation, but said that did not impact demand for its drinks during the fourth quarter. Revenue rose 7% to $10.1 billion, the company said Tuesday, slightly ahead of Wall Street forecasts, according to analysts polled by FactSet. Pricing and the mix of beverages contributed 12% to revenue growth, while concentrate sales rose 2%, Coke said. Demand for Coca-Cola Zero Sugar jumped 9% during the quarter, while coffee sales were up 11% as Coke expanded availability of its Costa brand. Sports drink sales grew 1%.
North American case volumes were flat for the October-December period as growth in soft drinks, juice and dairy were offset by declines in water and other drinks. Case volumes fell 1% in Asia as strong growth in India and Vietnam was offset by pandemic restrictions in China.
Coke has raised prices throughout the year – or its putting some drinks into smaller value packaging – to account for higher ingredient and freight costs. The company had locked in prices for some commodities in 2022, but is expecting its costs to rise this year.
Coke’s rival PepsiCo also benefited from price hikes in the fourth quarter, and last week reported better-than-expected sales. But Pepsi also warned that consumers may be less willing to accept price increases as this year progresses.
The Atlanta company said its net income fell 16% to $2 billion for the October-December period, partly because the strong U.S. dollar impacted overseas profits. Adjusted for currency and other one-time factors, Coca-Cola earned 45 cents per share, line with analysts forecasts.
Coke shares rose less than 1% in premarket trading Tuesday.
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