The Coca-Cola Company has reported a 17% rise in full-year net revenue to $38.7 billion, after its performance was boosted by concentrate sales and higher prices.
For Q4, the company – which owns major beverage brands including Coca-Cola, Sprite and VitaminWater – posted net revenue growth of 10% to $9.5 billion, ahead of its 2019 performance.
Operating income grew 15% for the year but declined 28% in Q4 – driven by currency tailwinds and higher marketing spend.
Global unit case volume – a key indicator of demand – grew 8% year-over-year in 2021. Volume growth was strong across most markets, and particularly in China, India and Russia, as well as the developed markets of Mexico, the US and the UK.
However, Coca-Cola warned that cost inflation was likely to continue this year. Global supply chain disruptions and surging raw material costs have squeezed the profit margins of companies across the packaged food and beverage industry, forcing them to respond with price hikes.
In 2021, unit case volume of sparkling soft drinks grew 7%, driven by a strong performance across all geographic operating segments. Meanwhile, nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverages grew 12% for the year.
Hydration, sports, coffee and tea saw unit case volume grow 7%. Coffee grew 15% for the year, primarily driven by the ongoing reopening of Costa retail stores in the UK. Sports drinks grew 13%, mainly on the strength of Bodyarmor’s performance in the US market.
“In 2021, our system demonstrated resilience and flexibility by successfully navigating through another year of uncertainty,” said James Quincey, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
“While the environment remains dynamic, we will build on the momentum from 2021 to drive top-line growth and maximise returns.”
In its full-year guidance, Coca-Cola said that it expects to deliver organic revenue growth of 7-8%.
By Antonia Garrett Peel
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