Zero-sugar sodas drive Coca-Cola revenue beat

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Coca-Cola logo is pictured during an event in Paris© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Coca-Cola logo is pictured during an event in Paris

(Reuters) – Coca-Cola Co (N:) reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Friday, boosted by strong demand for its zero-sugar sodas and Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, a blend of its traditional soda and coffee.

Faltering demand for sugary drinks has forced the world’s two largest beverage makers, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc (O:), to roll out low-sugar drinks, while diversifying their offerings into coffee, tea and bottled waters to boost sales.

Coca-Cola has been rolling out new offerings such as Coca-Cola Plus Coffee as well as drinks in small packs that command higher prices and are more appealing to consumers. It also expanded its coffee business with the multi-billion dollar purchase of Britain-based Costa Coffee last year.

Volume in sparkling soft drinks rose 2% in the quarter, driven by double-digit percentage growth in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar as well as Coke and Sprite in North America.

Organic revenue, climbed 5% during the quarter, above the average analyst estimate of 4.3%, according to five analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Coca-Cola also said it now expects full-year organic revenue growth excluding currency fluctuations, acquisitions and divestitures to be at least 5%, from its previous forecast of 5% growth.

The company’s shares climbed 2% before the bell, adding to the 14% they have gained this year.

Net operating revenue rose 8.3% to $9.51 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 27, beating the average analyst estimate of $9.43 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding items, Coca-Cola earned 56 cents per share, inline with estimates.

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