NEW YORK - Coca-Cola ( KO) says its fourth-quarter profit fell as the world's biggest beverage maker sold less soda in North America.
The maker of Sprite, Dasani and
Vitaminwater water says global sales volume rose 1 percent, helped by results
in some overseas markets such as Asia.
In North America, however, sales
volume declined 1 percent. Noncarbonated drinks such as Powerade performed
well, but that was offset by a 3 percent decline in soda. Last week, PepsiCo
also said its soda volume fell in the "mid-single digits."
Although Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are tapping emerging markets for growth and sell a wide array of beverages, the two companies are struggling to stem the decline in their flagship soda business back at home.Americans have been cutting back on soda bit by bit for years, whether it's because they worry about the sugar in regular soda or, more recently, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda. Beverage aisles have also gotten a lot more crowded, with competitors such as Monster energy drinks and Sparkling Ice waters increasingly taking up space.
Coca-Cola is looking for new ways to
grow as a result. Earlier this month, the company said it was buying a stake in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and teaming up with the company on a machine
that would let people make cold drinks at home. People would be able to insert
pods into the machine to make Coke drinks at home.
In the meantime, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo
are looking to boost financial results by cutting costs. Coca-Cola said Tuesday
it was expanding its cost-cutting program to produce another $1 billion in
savings by 2016. PepsiCo also said last week that it would extend its
cost-cutting program over the next five years, with a significant amount coming
from job cuts.
For the three months ended Dec. 31,
Coca-Cola Co. earned $1.71 billion, or 38 cents per share. Not including
one-time items such as the restructuring of its bottling operations overseas,
it earned 46 cents per share, in line with Wall Street expectations.
A year ago, the company earned $1.87
billion, or 41 cents per share.
Revenue fell to $11.04 billion, short
of the $11.31 billion Wall Street expected.
Its stock was down 1 percent at $38.51 in premarket trading.