Coca-Cola’s first-quarter sales exceeded expectations as consumers returned to much of their pre-pandemic behaviour.
Increased demand for the company’s beverages contributed to an 18% jump in organic revenue growth. The maker of brands such as Sprite and Fanta reported revenue of $10.5bn (€9.7bn).
It was “a good start to the year,” said John Murphy, Coca-Cola’s chief financial officer, in an interview. At the same time, “the overall environment continues to be fairly challenging”, with higher costs, labour expenses and the potential for Covid surges anywhere in the world, he said.
Analysts say the company is navigating supply constraints and cost pressures better than some of its peers. Price increases helped drive the strong quarterly performance. Coca-Cola said it gained market share in non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink beverages.
Even with the blowout quarter, Coca-Cola didn’t change its full-year organic revenue growth outlook of 7% to 8%. There was no change to its earnings forecast for the year, either. The company noted that its outlook now includes a 1% to 2% impact on revenue from its suspension of business in Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
Callum Elliott, an analyst at Bernstein Autonomous, said the lack of a forecast boost may be chalked up to “just regular conservatism” from Coca-Cola. There could also be a case made that the forecast has “implicitly increased” since it wasn’t changed despite the exit from Russia, Mr Elliott said in a research note.