The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 10, 2015 • 09:30 am ET

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Good morning and thank you all for holding. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Coca-Cola Company's fourth quarter 2014 Earnings Results Conference Call. Today's call is being recorded, if you have any objections, please disconnect at this time. All participants will be on a listen-only mode until the formal question-and-answer portion of the call. [Operator Instructions]

I would like to remind everyone that the purpose of this conference is to talk with investors and therefore questions from the media will not be addressed. Media participants should contact Coca-Cola's Media Relations Department if they have questions.

Operator
operator

I would now like to introduce Tim Leveridge, Vice President and Investor Relations Officer. Mr. Leveridge, you may begin.

Executive
Tim Leveridge

Good morning and thank you for being with us today. I'm joined by Muhtar Kent, our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Kathy Waller, our Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I would like to inform you that you can find Webcast materials in the Investor section of our company Web site at www.coca-colacompany.com that support the prepared remarks by Muhtar and Kathy this morning. I would also like to note that we have posted schedules under the Financial Reports and Information tab in the Investors section of our company Web site. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements).

Following prepared remarks by Muhtar and Kathy this morning, we will turn the call over for your questions. Ahmet Bozer, Executive Vice President and President of Coca-Cola International; Sandy Douglas, Senior Vice President, President of Coca-Cola North America; and Irial Finan, Executive Vice President and President of Bottling Investments will also be available for our Q&A session.

Now, I'll turn the call over to Muhtar.

Executive
Muhtar Kent

Thank you, Tim and good morning everyone. During our last Earnings call we articulated five strategic actions to reignite our growth and committed to providing you an update on our progress as we move forward and into 2015.

So today, I'm going to start with some highlights from our fourth quarter performance and then review the progress we've made against our five strategic actions.

For those of you following our Web cast, you can see our quarterly performance on our new scorecard on Slide 4. Overall, our performance came in slightly ahead of where we had previously expected. This was driven by some net positives above the operating income line slightly offset by higher than expected returns to remeasurement impacting profit before tax.

As the top line structurally adjusted comparable currency neutral net revenues grew 4% in the quarter driven by a balance between volume and underlying price mix in what was a challenging macro environment.

At the profit level, structurally adjusted comparable currency neutral operating income grew 7% in the quarter, while we continue to invest heavily behind our media with double digit increases in the quarter and full year. Importantly,

Executive
Muhtar Kent

There are some highlights for the quarter. We continue to focus pricing and revenue realization in key developed markets with North America and Europe both delivering positive price mix in