Coca-Cola profit drops 32% as coronavirus shutdowns sink restaurant sales

Coca-Cola Co. profit plunged 32 percent amid a sharp drop in restaurant and bar sales during lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The Atlanta-based beverage maker earned $1.78 billion, or an adjusted 42 cents per share, as revenue declined 28 percent from a year ago to $7.15 billion. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting adjusted earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $7.18 billion.

“We believe the second quarter will prove to be the most challenging of the year,” Coca-Cola CEO James Quincy said in a statement.

The volume of so-called concentrate sales, cases of syrup that are carbonated and dispensed through soft-drink fountains, fell 16 percent year-over-year as sales to bars and restaurants, which make up about half of revenue, were hit especially hard.

The company has seen improvement since its first-quarter results, however, with the decline narrowing from about 25 percent in April to just 10 percent in June as restrictions eased and businesses began reopening.

Trademark Coca-Cola sales fell 7 percent in the quarter while Coca-Cola Zero sales were off 4 percent.

Meanwhile, juice, dairy and plant-based beverage sales slumped 20 percent amid weakness outside the U.S. while water, enhanced water and sports drink sales sank 24 percent.

Lockdowns in Western Europe led to a 31 percent decline in tea and coffee sales for the company's Costa brand.

Looking ahead, Coca-Cola declined to give a forecast due to uncertainty caused by COVID-19, but said it expects a 3 percent to 4 percent currency headwind for full-year net revenue.

Coca-Cola shares were down 17 percent year-to-date through Monday, lagging the S&P 500's 0.65 percent gain.

foxbusiness

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