Coca-Cola Co reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for the third quarter as North America sales rose 3 percent on higher demand for Sprite, tea and coffee.
The company said it was gaining marketshare against rivals, echoing sector analysts` views ahead of the results that it was eating into the sales of arch rival PepsiCo Inc.
While the Coca-Cola`s overall volume sales in North America remained flat in the third quarter, Sprite sales rose in the mid-single digits and tea and coffee sales increased in the low-single digits. Diet Coke sales were down.
PepsiCo this month reported a drop in quarterly beverage sales in North America for the first time in two years, hit by weak demand for Gatorade and marketing missteps.
Coca-Cola is gaining share from rival Pepsi due to better performance in the territories it has franchised to bottlers and a more aggressive push in the non-carbonated drink business, RBC Capital Markets analyst Nik Modi wrote in a pre-earnings note.
Coca-Cola has also been cutting costs, including by the refranchising of its low-margin bottling operations and reducing workforce. Cost of goods sold fell 18 percent in the quarter, and general and selling expenses dropped 20 percent.
Net income attributable to Coca-Cola`s shareholders rose to $1.45 billion, or 33 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 29, from $1.05 billion, or 24 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned a profit of 50 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 49 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 14.6 percent to $9.08 billion as the company refranchised some bottling operations, but beat the average estimate of $8.72 billion.
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