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Chairman and CEO Neville Isdell said, “This is a strong quarter and a strong start to 2007. You can track our progress bottle by bottle around the globe. We grew both sparkling and still beverages while efficiently allocating our resources. Our focus on driving growth, building our innovation pipeline and managing our productivity is working. Our performance in the first quarter builds on the successes and results of 2006.
“Our strategies are gathering momentum as we remain fully focused on all our growth drivers. The foundations for long-term sustainable growth are clearly laid.”
President and COO Muhtar Kent said, “Our 6 percent unit case volume growth in the quarter, cycling 5 percent growth in the prior year, is our highest quarterly growth rate since 2002. The strength of our international business is evident, delivering 9 percent unit case volume growth, which more than offset the volume decline in North America. We know what we need to do in North America and are carefully addressing the issues. It will take some time to achieve the results we desire in this key market, but we expect sequential improvement as we move into the second half of the year. Importantly, we achieved broad-based growth across nearly all our key international geographies, which is a testament to our ability to manage our global geographic portfolio nimbly to generate consistent returns for shareowners.”
Some Reported Highlights
* First quarter EPS of $0.54 increased 15 percent; after considering items impacting comparability, EPS of $0.56 a 14 percent increase.
* Net revenue growth of 17 percent on worldwide unit case volume growth of 6 percent, highest quarterly volume growth rate since 2002.
* International unit case volume up 9 percent, led by 7 percent growth in Trademark Coca-Cola.
* Balanced growth with sparkling beverage unit case volume up 5 percent and still beverage unit case volume up 9 percent.