Coca-Cola announced on Tuesday that both profits and revenue did better than expected for its fourth quarter, as higher volume and pricing helped offset the impact of weakness abroad, reported Business Wire. It concluded that it would re-franchise all its North America bottling operations by the end of 2017.
The soda maker has been cutting costs through job reductions and selling some of its bottling operations and factories as part of a bid to reach $3 billion in annual cost savings by 2019. To supplement this goal, the Coca-Cola has been working to boost sales by raising prices while promoting smaller pack sizes.
"In the United States, in particular, we have a price-pack architecture strategy, promoting the mini cans and the 8-ounce glass bottles," said Chief Financial Officer Kathy Waller, according to Reuters.
Though lower than last year's numbers, the posted numbers indicate that Coca-Cola has been largely successful thus far in boosting profits and may actually reach that $3 billion goal if the company stays the course.
Overall, Coca-Cola's global sales volume rose 3 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, helped by higher demand for Coke, Sprite and Coke Zero.
Earnings per share was reported to be $0.38 for the quarter, beating the analysts' expectations of $0.37, but still representing a 25 percent year-over-year decline. Revenue followed a similar trend, beating the expected $9.91 billion with a reported $10 billion, but still lower than the $11.40 billion reported last year in the same quarter, according to BidnessETC.
Despite the mixed news, there were still some areas that showed positive growth compared to last year which helped margins in the quarter. Net income attributable to shareholders jumped nearly 61 percent to $1.24 billion, while selling, general and administrative expenses fell 9.2 percent to $3.94 billion.
Aside from the quarterly results, Coca-Cola also announced accelerated re-franchising plans and said it expects to continue adhering to its strategic model in 2016.
"This acceleration of our global re-franchising marks a step change in our efforts to refocus The Coca-Cola Company on its core business of building strong, valuable brands and leading a system of strong bottling partners," Coca-Cola's Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent said. "When this transformation is complete, we will look very different than we do today."
"Looking forward to 2016, we remain committed to achieving underlying performance in line with our long-term growth model and delivering long-term, sustainable value to our system and shareowners," he concluded.