Coca-Cola released its Q1 results today

Coca-Cola released its Q1 results today

The Coca-Cola Co's CEO has said the full weight of his company's marketing will get the group back on track after a disappointing first quarter.

In a conference call with analysts today (15 April), Muhtar Kent said only 5% of Coca-Cola's incremental marketing spend for this year had been deployed. “As we ramp up the quality and quantity of our marketing we will drive better alignments,” Kent said.

In February, Kent announced a US$400m injection into Coca-Cola's marketing budget for this year. He said focus will shift from consumer promotions to advertising.

In Q1 results released today, sales and profits fell as volumes stayed level increased by 2%. But Kent said he remains confident for the future as key emerging markets drove the volumes performance. 

Asia Pacific delivered a 7% rise in volumes, with China up 12% and India up 6%. “These are the proof points that our actions are working,” Kent said.

Meanwhile, volumes in north America were flat and Europe fell by 4%.

 “We don't think it's a great result but it's a step in the right direction to restore momentum,” Kent said. “I would be disappointed if we don't go back into the corridor of our long-term growth algorithms for volume.”

Kent said growth in China was driven by immediate consumption channels - such as restaurants, kiosks and hotels - where volumes were up by 18%. He praised new, smaller packaging in the country for the increase and said last year's regional restructuring had also helped.