Coca-Cola Co., the world’s largest beverage company, said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit rose as sales volumes advanced in North America and the European business began to rebound.
Net income rose 5.9 percent to $2.45 billion, or 54 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 27, from $2.31 billion, or 50 cents, a year earlier, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said in a statement.
Excluding some items, profit was 53 cents a share, in line with the average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent dealt in the quarter with persistent consumer uncertainty in developed nations and what he called “increasing volatility across emerging markets” by strategically raising prices.
Kent said he still expects the company and its bottlers to reach $200 billion in global revenue by 2020, double that generated in 2010.
Locally, Coca-Cola employs 123 people at its 286,000-square-foot Twinsburg plant that bottles and cans Coca-Cola Classic and Diet Coke, among other beverages. The company also has 262 employees who work out of its Akron distribution center.
Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst for Morningstar Inc. in Chicago, said that CEO Kent “and his team are continuing to succeed at their game plan even though the economy in some emerging markets, South America and some parts of Europe, continues to create near term challenges.”
Beverage sales declines in Europe improved, sliding 1 percent compared with a 4 percent fall in the second quarter. In North America, sales rose 2 percent after slipping 1 percent in the previous quarter.
Coca-Cola shares are up about 4.6 percent for the year compared with a 19 percent advance for PepsiCo Inc. and a 20 percent rise for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
Revenue declined 2.5 percent to $12.03 billion. Analysts estimated $12.05 billion, on average. The company also said fluctuating currency will decrease comparable operating income in the fourth quarter by as much as 6 percent.
Global sales volume grew 2 percent, less than the 2.9 percent average of three estimates compiled by Bloomberg. In Latin America, where Coca-Cola faces a proposed tax in Mexico on sugary soda, sales volume was little changed and Brazil posted a 1 percent decline.
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto has proposed a 1 peso per liter tax to raise revenue. Coca-Cola’s Mexican unit has said the tax proposal is “unfair.”