The Coca-Cola Co sees light at the end of the tunnel for Europe

The Coca-Cola Co sees light at the end of the tunnel for Europe

Europe has finally hit rock bottom and economic pressures will stabilise over the coming year, the Coca-Cola Co has said.

Volumes in the region remained flat in Coca-Cola's year-to-date results, released today (16 October), but operating profits slipped by 14%, with sales dropping by 7%. However, in a conference call with investors, Coca-Cola CFO Gary Fayard said the losses were due to macro-economic difficulties that were now levelling out.

“Don't expect it to get worse,” Fayard said. “We are at the bottom of it now and we should be coming out of it.

“If you go to the cafés of Madrid, you won't see people drinking Coke or coffee,” he said. “It is a shift in consumer spending in Europe from immediate consumption much more to future consumption. People continue to love our brands but they are now taking them home to drink.”

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent added that heavy rainfall in Europe had badly affected this year's results and the company did well not to lose volumes.

“If even in these conditions we can crack the calculus for growth, then we will certainly be coming back quite significantly,” Kent said.

Kent told investors that Coca-Cola is still confident it will hit year-end targets, despite needing double-digit growth in the fourth quarter. "We fully expect to dock our ship yet again in line with our long-term growth target," Kent said, adding that two extra days of trading compared to last year's Q4 and postive currency trends will benefit the company.