Coca-Cola revenue tumbles as Coronavirus lockdowns hammer soda sales

Bottles of Coca-Cola are displayed at a supermarket of Swiss retailer Denner, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Glattbrugg, Switzerland

Coca-Cola Co reported a 28% drop in adjusted quarterly revenue on Tuesday as sales of its sodas were battered by the closure of restaurants, theaters, and sporting venues due to lockdowns to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite maker generates about half of its revenues by selling its soft drinks and concentrates to restaurants and theater operators, such as McDonald’s Corp and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc, but most of them had to close some or all of their operations under government-mandated curbs to fight the health crisis.

“We believe the second quarter will prove to be the most challenging of the year; however, we still have work to do,” Chief Executive Officer James Quincey said in a statement.

The Atlanta-based company reported adjusted revenue of $7.18 billion for the second quarter ended June 26, largely in line with Wall Street estimates according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Unit volume, a key measure that indicates demand, declined 16%, with Coca-Cola falling 7% and sparkling soft drinks tumbling 12%.

Rival PepsiCo Inc also reported a fall in beverage sales, but a boost in at-home consumption of snacks helped it beat quarterly revenue estimates.

Excluding one-time items, Coca-Cola earned 42 cents per share, beating analysts’ average estimate of 40 cents.

Net income attributable to the beverage maker’s shareholders fell to $1.78 billion, or 41 cents per share, from $2.61 billion or 61 cents per share, a year earlier.

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