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Coca-Cola profit tops Wall Street estimates

Chairs with the Coca-Cola logo are pictured in a conference room during a media tour at PT Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia's factory in Cibitung, Indonesia's West Java province, February 24, 2011.

BEAWIHARTA/REUTERS

Coca-Cola Co. reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, as rising consumption of its beverages in emerging markets offset declines in Europe.

The world's largest soft drink company, maker of Sprite, Minute Maid orange juice and vitaminwater, said second-quarter sales volume rose 4 percent, with North America growing 1 per cent and international up 5 per cent.

Volume jumped 12 per cent in Eurasia and Africa, 8 percent in the Pacific region and 3 percent in Latin America. It fell 4 per cent in Europe, hurt by the economic slowdown.

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Net income was $2.79-billion (U.S.), down from $2.80-billion a year earlier. Net earnings per share rose to $1.21 from $1.20 because of fewer shares outstanding.

Excluding items, earnings were $1.22 per share, topping the analysts' average estimate of $1.19, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose about 3 per cent to $13.09-billion. Analysts had expected $12.98-billion.

The company, which does business in more than 200 countries, said foreign exchange rates shaved 4 percentage points from net revenue.

Price increases helped to boost sales.

Costs rose 5 per cent in the quarter, due to "moderately" higher commodity costs.

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