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Coca-Cola second-quarter profit tops expectations

Coca-Cola Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday, as growth in markets such as India and China helped offset the impact of the stronger US dollar.

The world's largest soft-drink maker earned $2.04 billion, or 88 cents per share, in the second quarter, ended July 3, compared with $1.42 billion, or 61 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, profit fell 9% to 92 cents per share, topping analysts' average forecast of 89 cents per share, according to Reuters estimates. Coke's shares rose more than 1% in premarket trade before retreating, falling 13 cents to $50.90. Operating revenue fell 9% to $8.27 billion, hurt by the stronger US dollar which reduced the value of international sales. Sales by volume rose 4%.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola's broad geographic footprint, especially in developing markets such as India and China, has helped it weather an industry-wide slowdown in the US. Coke gets the bulk of its revenue from abroad, where soft-drink sales are still growing despite the weak global economy. Volume fell 1% in North America but rose 5% internationally. Volume jumped 33% in India and 14% in China. International sales growth overall had been in the 5%-to-7% range last year. (Reuters)