Coca-Cola earnings rise on cost cuts

File: Coca-Cola reported a jump in third-quarter profits on Wednesday. Photo: Mozart

NEW YORK - Coca-Cola reported a jump in third-quarter profits on Wednesday due to lower expenses as it broadens offerings of non-cola drinks to offset sluggish demand for its namesake product in North America.

Earnings for the quarter ending September 29 came in at $1.4-billion, up 38.3 percent from the year-ago period.

Revenues fell 14.6 percent to $9.1-billion due to the refranchising of bottling operations.

In North America, the biggest region in terms of company revenues, sparkling soft drink volumes were flat, while the company experienced a slight gain in tea and coffee and a modest drop in water and sports drinks.

Coca-Cola said earlier this month it was acquiring Mexico's Topo Chico sparkling mineral water brand to distribute it more widely in the US. The company also launched Dunkin' Donuts bottled iced coffee earlier in the year.

Results were mixed in other regions. In the Europe, Middle East and Africa division, growth in Turkey, Central Asia and Eastern Europe was partially offset by volume decline in Western Europe.

Operating profits rose in Latin America due to higher prices in Mexico, while Asia Pacific earnings dipped.

Shares dipped 0.6 percent to $45.90 in pre-market trading.

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