Drinkers of Coca-Cola can expect to pay more starting this fall after the company's biggest bottler said Thursday that it would raise prices.
The issues at the bottler also hurt Coca-Cola Co.'s bottom line, since it owns about 35 percent of that business. The world's biggest beverage company said its profit fell 23 percent in the second quarter as it took a charge because of the bottler's woes.
Coca-Cola Enterprises, which has about 80 percent of the U.S. market for Coke, said it would raise prices after Labor Day because of higher commodity costs and declining U.S. soda sales. Bottlers set prices for retailers such as grocery stores.
At Coca-Cola Co., the results were again led by the international operations.
The company is facing declining soda sales in the U.S. but managed to keep U.S. sales volume steady in the second quarter thanks to a boost from Glaceau's Vitaminwater, which it bought for $4.1 billion last June. International sales rose 5 percent even as they were hurt by natural disasters in Asia and labor strikes in Europe.
"I know what is top of mind for all of you: the current macroeconomic environment and its impact on our results," said Chief Executive Muhtar Kent, who succeeded Neville Isdell on July 1. "It is clear we will face with some challenges around the globe."
The Atlanta-based company earned $1.42 billion, or 61 cents per share, down from $1.85 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. The results included a charge of 40 cents per share related to Coca-Cola Enterprises.