For Coke, New Fizz And Some Fizzles

Coca-Cola Co. is discovering that being global means balancing good markets with bad. Profits at Coke jumped to $581 million in the second quarter, up 20%, on a 16.8% sales increase, to $3.5 billion. Despite the impressive profits, overseas unit sales increased only 4% compared with a 7% first-quarter rise.

Coke, which relies on international sales for 80% of its operating profits, enjoyed a 14% increase in unit case sales in Europe. But in Japan, case sales dropped 6%.

In the U.S., case sales dropped 1%, offsetting a gain of 1% in the comparable period last year. Coke bottlers, who are weary of an intense price war with Pepsi, finally decided to hike prices in certain areas, risking a loss of market share.

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