The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Apr 23, 2019 • 08:30 am ET


The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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At this time, I'd like to welcome everyone to The Coca-Cola Company's First Quarter 2019 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 listen-only mode until the formal question-and-answer portion of the call. 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 any questions.

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

Timothy Leveridge

Thank you. Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. I'm here with James Quincey, our Chief Executive Officer; and John Murphy, our Chief Financial Officer.

Before we begin, I'd like to remind you that this conference call may contain forward-looking statements, including statements concerning long-term earnings objectives and should be considered in conjunction with cautionary statements contained in our earnings release and in the Company's most recent periodic SEC report.

We posted schedules under the Financial Reports & Information tab in the Investors section of our Company website. These schedules reconcile certain non-GAAP financial measures, which may be referred to by our senior executives during this morning's discussion to our results as reported under generally accepted accounting principles.

Finally, during today's call, when our senior executives refer to comparable performance, they are referring to comparable performance from continuing operations. Following prepared remarks this morning, we will turn the call over for your questions.Please limit yourself to one question. If you have more than one question, (Operator instructions)

Now let me turn the call over to James.

James Quincey

Thanks, Tim, and good morning, everyone. 2019 is off to a good start with strong underlying performance as we leveraged our transformation as a total beverage Company. We continue to win in a growing industry. The non-alcoholic ready to drink beverage industry grew value 4% in the quarter and we gained global value share with a balance contribution from both developed and emerging markets led by strong performance within our sparkling soft drink business.

During the quarter, we delivered 6% organic revenue growth, cycling 5% last year. Growth was broad-based with positive performance across each of our operating segments. Of course, there are often timing impacts on a quarterly basis, and we did see a net benefit in this quarter, which John will cover in more detail. But to be clear, we delivered strong top line growth in the quarter, which we converted into 16% comparable currency neutral operating income growth and comparable EPS was up 2%, which was comprised of 13% comparable currency neutral EPS growth, partially offset by an 11% currency headwind.

So, our disciplined growth strategies are working well and we're on track to deliver our full year guidance. As you know, our industry continues to evolve and our approach to addressing this encompasses our system acting with discipline to