Coca-Cola reveals drop in sales

<p>Sales are down at Coca-Cola for the first time in 15 years.</p>

The share price of Coca-Cola rose yesterday (April 15th) following the release of the latest financial results by the drinks company.

Even though the firm revealed a drop in sales for the first time in 15 years, investors responded strongly to the figures and stocks in the company rose by 3.74 per cent during yesterday's session on the New York Stock Exchange, although they slipped 0.07 per cent after-hours.

Coca-Cola stated that volumes of carbonated drinks sold by the company fell by one per cent in the first quarter of the year, with Great Britain responsible for a large part of this drop. Sales in the country were ten per cent down over the three-month period compared to the end of 2013.

"Our growth momentum is steadily improving in line with our expectations … [We are] gaining global volume and value share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages," said Coca-Cola Company chief executive Muhtar Kent.

European sales

Europe was a difficult market for the company during the first three months of the year, with sales on the continent falling by five per cent compared to the final quarter of 2013.

However, Coca-Cola pointed out in the results that the volume of drinks sold globally rose by two per cent, helped by the growing popularity of non-carbonated beverages such as Powerade. The firm is seeing strong levels of demand for still drinks, which includes juices, ready-to-drink teas, sports drinks and energy drinks.

Coca-Cola also stated that it is going to increase its global marketing budget this year by $400 million (£239 million) to more than $4 billion, which is an increase of more than ten per cent.

Investors in the company appeared unruffled by the release of the financial results, with shares in the firm still rising strongly despite the first fall in sales for 15 years. All eyes will now be on Coca-Cola stocks in the coming days to see if they continue to rise, or if this drop in sales has a long-term impact on investor confidence.

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