Coca-Cola Earnings Rise 5 Percent
ATLANTA (AP) _ The Coca-Cola Co. reported a 5 percent increase in net earnings for the third quarter, crediting strong sales growth in international markets.
The Atlanta-based soft drink company said Thursday its net income was $1.01 billion or 41 cents per share, compared with $9.67 million or 39 cents per share in the same quarter of 1996.
Net operating revenues were $4.95 billion, up 6 percent from $4.69 billion in the third quarter last year.
For the first nine months of 1997, Coca-Cola’s net income was $3.31 billion or $1.34 per share, up 21 percent from $2.73 billion or $1.09 per share a year earlier. Revenues for the nine-month period held steady at $14.2 billion.
Unit case volume, a key indicator that is defined as sales of 24 eight-ounce servings, increased 11 percent for the third quarter, the company said. Strong sales growth in international markets _ 14 percent in Latin America, 16 percent in Europe, 13 percent in Africa and 10 percent in the Middle East and Far East _ helped make up for a growth of only 6 percent in U.S. markets.
Coca-Cola’s board of directors will meet Thursday without Chairman Roberto Goizueta, who remains hospitalized in critical condition with a throat infection related to treatments for lung cancer. It will be the first board meeting Goizueta has missed since becoming chairman in 1981.