Diet soda sales boost Coca-Cola results

Bottles of Coca-Cola are seen at a Carrefour Hypermarket store in Montreuil, near Paris. REUTERS

Solid sales of Coca-Cola's revamped diet cola offerings helped the soda giant score better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday.

Net income for the quarter ending March 30 was $1.4 billion, up 15.7% from the year-ago period. Revenues fell 16.4% to $7.6 billion, following the sale of bottling assets to franchisers.

The beverage giant posted a 5% rise in organic revenues, which excludes the effect of currency movements, acquisitions and divestitures.

Coca-Cola enjoyed double-digit volume growth in its Coca-Cola Zero Sugar diet drink following a revamp and said its Diet Coke cola returned to volume growth in North America, following a retool that included four new flavored versions of the product.

"We're encouraged with our first quarter performance, as we continue our evolution as a consumer-centric, total beverage company," said Coca-Cola Chief Executive Officer James Quincey.

Among overseas markets, Coca-Cola cited strong gains in Mexico, Turkey and South Africa, as well as China and India. Areas with declines included Western Europe, Nigeria and some parts of Latin America.

Company shares rose 0.9% in pre-market trading to $44.35.

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