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Coca-Cola reports 3 billion transactions in India in Q1, as economy remains resilient

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Coca-Cola said the company along with its bottling partners continues to raise the bar in India in integrated execution to deliver value for its customers and consumers

New Delhi: Euphoric over the sale of 3 billion Coca-Cola products in a country with a population of 1.4 billion in March quarter, Global CFO and President John Murphy on Monday said the Indian economy is “resilient with a strong job market and robust consumption”.

The soft drinks major said it has increased availability by over 3 lakh stores in India in the first quarter, driving approximately 3 billion transactions at affordable price points.

Ahead of the summer, the company also added 40,000 coolers, The Coca-Cola Company said in its global earnings statement.

“During the first quarter, the company and its bottling partners increased availability by more than 3,00,000 stores and approximately 40,000 coolers ahead of the summer season and drove approximately 3 billion transactions at affordable price points through single-serve packages and at-home entry packs,” it said.

India is the fifth-largest market for Coca-Cola globally.

“The company also increased household penetration via targeted promotions on large packages for the at-home channel,” it said.

Coca-Cola said the company along with its bottling partners “continues to raise the bar in India in integrated execution” to deliver value for its customers and consumers”.

“This integrated execution yielded strong results, as the company grew revenue ahead of transactions and grew transactions ahead of volume, while also growing value share in the sparkling soft drinks and juice categories,” it said.

In the Asia Pacific market, including India, Coca-Cola’s unit case volume grew 10 per cent, driven by strong growth across most categories.

“Growth was led by China, India and Australia,” it said.

The company also gained a value share in total NARTD (Non-alcoholic ready-to-drink) beverages, led by share gains in Japan, India, Australia and Vietnam, the statement said.

The Atlanta-headquartered company reported a 5 per cent growth in its consolidated net operating revenue to USD 10.98 billion. Its unit case volume grew 3 per cent, which was driven by strength in away-from-home channels and continued investments in the marketplace.

The consumer pictures vary across the market, said Murphy during an earnings call.

The company saw growth across developed as well as developing and emerging markets, he said.

In Asia Pacific, reopening of China has led to increase in consumer activity. However, the consumption is still recovering to pre-pandemic level.

“India’s economy remains resilient with a strong job market and robust consumption,” he said.

James Quincey, Chairman and CEO said: “We are encouraged by our first quarter 2023 results.”

“Our system alignment is stronger than ever, and our networked organisation is allowing us to adapt as needed. We continue to invest for the long term, strengthening our capabilities to drive sustainable value for our stakeholders. We have the right portfolio, the right strategy and the right execution to deliver in the marketplace. We are confident in our ability to deliver on our 2023 objectives.”

The Coca-Cola Company said it expects to deliver organic revenue (non-GAAP) growth of 7 to 8 per cent.

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