Coca-Cola’s profit falls 14% in 3rd quarter

Coca-Cola profit plunged 14 percent in the third quarter as the world’s biggest soft drink maker announced new cost-cutting measures aimed at annualized savings of $3 billion over the next five years.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant reported net income of $2.11 billion in the quarter, down from $2.45 billion during the same period a year ago. Earnings per share was 48 cents in the third quarter of 2014, down 13 percent from 54 cents this time last year. Revenue dropped slightly from $12 billion to $11.98 billion.

Coca-Cola said the $3 billion in annualized savings by 2019 would come from streamlining and continued refranchising plans for the North America bottling system.

Carbonated volume fell 1 percent in the quarter in North America, despite a successful “share a Coke” campaign that the company said helped it gain value share in the competitive segment. Volume for still beverages, which includes water and juices and had been a consistent bright spot in North America, also was down 1 percent.

Worldwide, still volume grew 2 percent in the quarter and is up 5 percent to date, Coca-Cola reported. Worldwide sparkling volume growth was even in the quarter and up 2 percent for the year.

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