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Global beverage giant the Coca-Cola Company delivered a strong performance in the Chinese market last year, driven by robust demand for zero-calorie drinks, with more market share in e-commerce propelling the company's growth globally, its recent fiscal report said.
Coca-Cola's fourth quarter and full-year 2021 earnings results on Thursday showed that compared to 2019, global unit case volume sequentially improved each quarter in 2021, resulting in full-year unit case volume running ahead of the 2019 level.
In the fourth quarter, global unit case volume grew 9 percent year-over-year and Asia Pacific unit case volume grew 11 percent year-over-year for the quarter which was driven by its performance in China, India and the Philippines.
Fourth quarter revenue grew 10 percent year-over-year to $9.46 billion. It was the first quarter in which away-from-home volume was ahead of 2019, while at-home channels remained strong.
The company's revenue in 2021 grew 17 percent to $38.66 billion, operating income grew 15 percent to $10.31 billion, and global unit case volume grew 8 percent.
"We are confident that progress on our strategic transformation has made us a nimbler total beverage company. While the environment remains dynamic, we will build on the momentum from 2021 to drive topline growth and maximize returns," said James Quincey, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola.
Globally, Coca-Cola increased its market share in the nonalcoholic ready- to-drink (NARTD) market last year.
Looking forward, the company expects to deliver annual organic revenue growth of 7 percent to 8 percent.
To build a "Total Beverage Company", the company is reinforcing the competitiveness of its existing brands and is offering new categories and beverages for consumers to choose from.
Its iconic brand Coca-Cola trademark still performs strongly in China. Last year, Coca-Cola China made a breakthrough in venturing into markets for low-alcohol beverages and low-temperature dairy products, demonstrating its product innovation and business development capabilities.
In addition to brand building and product innovation, Coca-Cola China is working together with its two bottling partners, COFCO Coca-Cola and Swire Coca-Cola, to drive the digital transformation of its supply chain.
At the beginning of this year, Swire Coca-Cola announced its plan to invest 1.25 billion yuan ($196.7 million) to expand its new plant in Guangdong province. It is the single biggest investment ever for Swire Coca-Cola.
Source: China Daily / WANG ZHUOQIONG
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