Coca-Cola 1Q Sales Fall 4%

Industries Reuters

Coca-Cola's sales fell for the fourth straight quarter as demand for its fizzy drinks declined in Europe and a strong dollar eroded the value of sales in markets outside the United States, including Latin America.

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Shares of the maker of Sprite soda and Minute Maid juices fell about 1 percent to $46 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

Coke and rival PepsiCo Inc have been hurt as consumers increasingly turn health-conscious, cutting back on fizzy drinks and turning to teas, fruit juices and smoothies.

The rise in the dollar has also hit the companies, which have a sizeable presence in markets outside the United States, including China, Europe and Brazil.

The average value of the dollar rose 2.6 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. The U.S. currency had risen 18 percent gain in the first three months of 2015.

Coke's sales in Europe declined 1 percent to $1.20 billion in the quarter ended April 1, accounting for nearly 12 percent of total revenue.

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The net income attributable to Coke's shareholders fell 4.5 percent to $1.48 billion, or 34 cents per share.

Excluding items, Coke earned 45 cents per share, beating the average analyst estimate of 44 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net operating revenue fell 4 percent to $10.28 billion.

Excluding the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and currency movements, total revenue rose 2 percent.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)