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Fiji Time: 3:01 PM on Friday 18 April

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Coke sales fall in 2012

Bbc.Co.Uk
Friday, February 15, 2013

COCA-COLA, the world's biggest soft-drinks maker, saw sales in Europe and China fall in the last quarter of 2012 and warned the year ahead would be unpredictable.

Sales worldwide were up by 3 per cent, but profits, though up 13 per cent, were still below expectation at $US1.87billion ($F3.29b).

The company's chief executive, Muhtar Kent, said it had been a tricky year and "we expect this volatility to extend through 2013". Shares were down by 2 per cent.

He said last year had seen "the extension of prolonged uncertainty in Europe, the ongoing transition of the economy in China, the lukewarm recovery in the US and ongoing challenges for Japanese consumers".

Sales in China were 4 per cent lower in the quarter after growing by 10 per cent in the October-December period in 2011, while sales in struggling Europe fell 5 per cent in the final quarter of the year.

One problem facing the company, whose other brands include Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid, was a rise in the cost of raw materials.