The Coca-Cola Company Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2008 Results
* Strong worldwide unit case volume with 4 percent growth in the quarter and 5 percent growth for the full year.
* International operations delivered 6 percent unit case volume growth for both the quarter and full year.
* Global volume and value share gains continued across key markets and categories.
* Solid cash generation continued, with full year cash flow from operations up 6 percent.
* Fourth quarter reported EPS was $0.43. Comparable EPS up 10 percent to $0.64, reflecting nine consecutive quarters of double-digit comparable EPS growth. Full year reported EPS was $2.49 and comparable EPS up 17 percent to $3.15.
* Operating income growth of 12 percent on a reported basis and 10 percent on a comparable basis in the quarter. Full year operating income grew 16 percent on a reported basis and 17 percent on a comparable basis.
* Productivity program initiatives accelerating and are on track to deliver $500 million in annualized savings by year-end 2011.
ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Company today reported unit case volume growth of 4 percent in the fourth quarter and 5 percent for the full year, successfully cycling 5 percent and 6 percent growth in the prior year quarter and full year, respectively. Acquisitions contributed 1 point of unit case volume growth for the quarter and 2 points of growth for the full year.
The Company achieved broad-based growth across the globe. In key emerging markets, China increased unit case volume 29 percent, India increased 28 percent and Eastern Europe increased double digits in the quarter. Latin America delivered solid, balanced growth in unit case volume led by Mexico increasing 6 percent and Brazil increasing 7 percent in the quarter. Europe achieved unit case volume growth of 2 percent in the quarter successfully cycling 3 percent growth in the prior year. In other key markets, North America unit case volume declined 3 percent in the quarter and unit case volume in Japan was even.
Sparkling beverages increased unit case volume 2 percent in both the quarter and full year. Trademarks Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite contributed to the results, increasing unit case volume 2 percent, 3 percent and 6 percent, respectively, for the year. International sparkling beverage unit case volume increased 4 percent for both the quarter and full year.
Still beverage unit case volume increased 11 percent in the quarter and 13 percent for the full year, led by strong growth across the portfolio, including juice and juice drinks, teas, active lifestyle and water brands. International still beverage unit case volume increased 17 percent for both the quarter and full year.
Globally, the Company continued to gain volume and value share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages as well as in core sparkling and still beverages for both the quarter and full year.
Cash flow from operations was $7.6 billion for the year, compared with $7.1 billion in the prior year, an increase of 6 percent.
The Company reported fourth quarter earnings per share of $0.43. After considering items impacting comparability, earnings per share for the quarter were $0.64, an increase of 10 percent. Reported earnings per share for the quarter included a net charge of $0.21 per share primarily related to a non-cash impairment charge at Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., an equity investee (“CCE”), restructuring charges and asset write-downs. Reported earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2007 were $0.52 and included a net charge of $0.06 primarily related to restructuring charges and asset write-downs.
Earnings per share for the year were $2.49 on a reported basis. After considering items impacting comparability, earnings per share for the year were $3.15, an increase of 17 percent. Reported earnings per share for the year included a net charge of $0.66 per share primarily related to non-cash impairment charges at CCE, restructuring charges and asset write-downs. Full year 2007 reported earnings per share were $2.57 and included a net charge of $0.13 per share primarily related to restructuring charges and asset write-downs.
Operating income in the quarter increased 12 percent on a reported basis and increased 10 percent after considering items impacting comparability. Items impacting comparability reduced fourth quarter pre-tax operating income by $108 million in 2008 and by $126 million in 2007. Currency negatively impacted comparable operating income in the quarter by 9 percent. Full year operating income increased 16 percent on a reported basis and increased 17 percent after considering items impacting comparability. Currency benefited both full year reported and comparable operating income by 6 percent.
The Company is currently on track to deliver $500 million in annualized savings from productivity initiatives by year-end 2011. The continued acceleration of these efforts will enable cash flows to be redeployed to drive investments for growth.
“Our performance in the fourth quarter was very solid,” said Muhtar Kent, president and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “Our fourth quarter and full year 2008 results reflect both the universal appeal of our global brands and the unrivalled reach of one of the world’s leading consumer products distribution systems. We delivered consistent, quality results for the quarter and for the full year. For the year, we again exceeded our long-term growth targets despite a very challenging economic environment. And importantly, we gained volume and value share in most of our leading markets through solid execution of our strategies.”
"Our highly skilled management team is assertively addressing the challenges posed by the current global economic crisis. Working in close collaboration with our bottling partners, we successfully accelerated actions, refocused investments and intensified our disciplined execution to drive results. We also made significant gains in realigning our organizational structure to generate greater productivity and in rewiring our business for sustainable results.
While certainly not crisis proof, as no company is, I do believe our global business model is relatively resilient, as we bring simple moments of pleasure to our consumers, nearly 1.6 billion times a day, for cents at a time. We recognize that 2009 will bring many unique challenges to us and our consumers, customers, and bottling partners. Yet, I believe that our solid brand and business fundamentals – together with a fundamentally sound balance sheet, robust cash generating model and strong global bottling system – provide a sound foundation for our management team to continue driving long-term sustainable growth"
(All references to growth rate percentages and share compare the results of the period to those of the prior year comparable period.)
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