Coca-Cola Co bottlers in western Japan shipping drinks eastwards

Coca-Cola Co bottlers in western Japan shipping drinks eastwards

The Coca-Cola Co has said that the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan have had a "limited impact" on its business in the country.

Coca-Cola counts on Japan for 21% of annual volume sales in its Pacific business division. According to analyst group Sanford Bernstein, Japan accounts for 13.5% of Coca-Cola's global annual operating profits.

As the authorities continue to assess the damage and count the dead from the powerful earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan's north east coastline, concerns have grown about the disaster's economic effects. Uncertainty at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant has added to Japan's problems.

Coca-Cola's chief financial officer, Gary Fayard, sought to calm investor concerns at this week's Consumer Analyst Group Europe conference in the UK. "There's been a limited impact outside of the hardest-hit region," he said.

"Relative to our business, most infrastructure has not been significantly impacted," he told analysts, adding: "Most of the plants are up and running or will be up shortly. Our bottlers in the west of Japan are shipping bottles across to the east and north."

Fayard did not comment on the expected financial impact of the Japan disaster on Coca-Cola's results in 2011. The soft drinks giant has pledged JPY600m (US$7.3m) in cash and products to the relief effort.