Coca-Cola profit rises 43%, tops forecast; revenue misses mark

Coca-Cola ko, the world's largest beverage maker, on Tuesday posted a 43% increase in second-quarter profit, beating expectations as rapid overseas growth helped offset a sales decline caused by the stronger dollar.

Profit rose mostly because last year's quarter was dragged down by big restructuring charges and asset write-downs.

The seller of Coke, Sprite and VitaminWater on Tuesday said it earned $2.04 billion, or 88 cents a share, in the three months ended July 3. That's up from $1.42 billion, or 61 cents a share, a year earlier.

The company recorded significant one-time charges a year earlier that dragged down comparable profit 40 cents per share, compared with 4 cents a share in charges in the most recent quarter.

Excluding restructuring charges, write-downs and other items, Coca-Cola earned 92 cents a share in the most recent quarter. Analysts expected 89 cents a share.

Sales fell 9% to $8.27 billion, mostly hurt by the strong dollar. Wall Street's revenue estimate was $8.66 billion. Companies that do significant business overseas are hurt by a stronger dollar as sales revenue is translated from local currencies into fewer dollars.

Overseas, case volume grew 5%, including 33% growth in India and 14% in China. In North America, case volume fell 1% but Coca-Cola gained slightly in its share of sales volume. Sales volume of Coke Zero grew 24%.

The company is on track to save $500 million a year by 2011 through restructuring, CEO Muhtar Kent said in a statement. More than half of the savings would be achieved by the end of the year, Kent said.

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