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    Higher prices boost Coca-Cola sales despite Middle East hit

    Image by REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo/File Photo

    Higher prices and volumes helped boost Coca-Cola sales despite consumer weakness in some markets and a hit from the Middle East war, according to company results released Tuesday.

    Revenues for the soda giant rose seven percent from the year-ago level to $10.9 billion (£800m), reflecting a 2 per cent rise in volumes and 9 per cent increase in price/mix, a category that includes retail venue and product size, in addition to sticker price.

    Profits dipped 3 per cent to $2bn.

    Chief executive James Quincey described consumers in North America as “holding up well,” although he acknowledged “a little softening” through 2023 in the US due to persistently higher prices that have pressured low-income shoppers.

    But economic indicators have strengthened again in early 2024 and consumers “are starting to feel like the money coming is starting to contain and get ahead of the inflation,” Quincey said during an earnings conference call.

    Quincey said consumers in Europe remain “cost conscious,” while the macro environment “remains uncertain” in Africa and China.

    The ongoing conflict in the Middle East dented volume growth by about one point in the fourth quarter, said chief financial officer John Murphy.

    Coca-Cola projected 2024 revenue growth of 6 to 7 per cent when foreign exchange and the effect of acquisitions are excluded.

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