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Coca-Cola Company: Global Public Affairs & Communications Department

The following excerpt is from the company's SEC filing.

P.O. Box 1734

Atlanta, GA 30301

THE COCA-COLA COMPANY REPORTS

FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL-YEAR 2015 RESULTS;

ANNOUNCES ACCELERATED REFRANCHISING PLANS

Fourth quarter reported EPS was $0.28 and comparable EPS was $0.38

Announced accelerated refranchising plans in North America and non-binding letter of intent to refranchise Company-owned bottling operations in China

Full-year reported net revenue declined 4% while organic revenue grew 4%. Reported net revenue and organic revenue declined 8% and 1%, respectively, in the quarter, primarily due to the impact of six fewer days in our reporting calendar.

Global volume grew 3% in the quarter and 2% for the full year.

Global price/mix grew 2% in the quarter and the full year, reflecting strong execution against our strategic initiatives.

Gained global value share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages in both the quarter and full year.

Remain committed to the previously announced $3 billion productivity initiative, even with the impact of accelerated refranchising plans.

Expect full-year 2016 comparable currency neutral EPS growth of 4% to 6% including the impact of 3 to 4 points of structural headwind, primarily due to refranchising, on comparable currency neutral income before taxes.

The Coca-Cola Company today reported fourth quarter and full-year 2015 operating results. Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company said, "In late 2014, we laid out a clear five-point plan to reinvigorate growth and

increase profitability. In 2015, a transition year, we delivered on this plan despite an increasingly challenging global macroeconomic environment. Our fourth quarter performance was a testament to the action we took as the Company continued to deliver solid pricing and unit case volume growth, culminating in 4% organic revenue growth for the full year. Importantly, this top-line growth was led by our flagship market of North America, which delivered its strongest annual performance in three years.

"Today, building on our top-line momentum and the success of refranchising efforts to date in North America, we have announced that we are accelerating the pace and scale of our system transformation with plans to refranchise 100% of Company-owned North American bottling territories by the end of 2017, including all of the cold-fill production facilities. We are also announcing that we have entered into a non-binding letter of intent to refranchise our bottling operations in China to our existing partners China Foods Limited, part of COFCO Limited, and Swire Beverage Holdings Limited, building on other recent global refranchising initiatives in Europe and Africa.

"This acceleration of our global refranchising marks a step change in our efforts to refocus The Coca-Cola Company on its core business of building strong, valuable brands and leading a system of strong bottling partners. When this transformation is complete, we will look very different than we do today. Expanding Coca-Cola bottlers in various regions will grow in terms of revenue, employment and reach as we transition Company-owned operations to the franchise system. The Coca-Cola Company will return to its focus as a higher margin, higher return and less capital intensive operation. With the accelerated refranchising plans announced today, we will move from a system where about 18% of our volume was produced by Company-owned bottlers in 2015 to about 3%.

"Looking forward to 2016, we remain committed to achieving underlying performance in line with our long-term growth model and delivering long-term, sustainable value to our system and shareowners."

2015 OPERATING REVIEW

TOTAL COMPANY

Percent Change

Fourth Quarter

Full Year

Unit Case Volume

Sparkling Beverages

Still Beverages

Concentrate Sales/Reported Volume

Price/Mix

Currency

Acquisitions & Divestitures, Net

Reported Net Revenues

Organic Revenues *

Reported Income Before Taxes

Comparable CN Income Before Taxes (Structurally Adjusted) *

Organic revenue and comparable currency neutral (CN) income before taxes (structurally adjusted) are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to the Notes and Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures schedule.

The organic revenue decline in the quarter was primarily driven by the impact of six fewer days. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales were mostly in line with unit case sales. Concentrate sales growth and unit case sales growth were mostly in line for the full year as well. We delivered positive price/mix of 2% in the quarter and the full year due to effective global execution of our price and pack strategies. In the quarter, we gained global value and volume share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages.

Global sparkling beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by 1% growth in brand Coca-Cola, 3% growth in Sprite and 7% growth in Coca-Cola Zero, partially offset by a 5% decline in Diet Coke/Coke Light. We gained global value and volume share in sparkling beverages in the quarter. Full-year sparkling beverage volume growth was driven by 1% growth in brand Coca-Cola, 3% growth in Sprite and 6% growth in Coca-Cola Zero, partially offset by a 6% decline in Diet Coke/Coke Light.

Global still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by 8% growth in packaged water, 6% growth in ready-to-drink tea, 5% growth in juice and juice drinks and 2% growth in sports drinks. We gained global value and volume share in still beverages in the quarter. Full-year growth was led by growth of 8% in packaged water, 4% in ready-to-drink tea, 3% in ready-to-drink coffee and 2% in sports drinks.

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes (structurally adjusted) lagged organic revenue growth in the quarter primarily due to lower equity income and a decrease in net

interest income. Full-year comparable currency neutral income before taxes (structurally adjusted) outpaced organic revenue growth due to gross margin expansion and the impact of our ongoing productivity initiatives, partially offset by increased marketing investments, a decrease in net interest income and lower equity income. Our productivity initiatives remain on track and they provided financial flexibility to help us achieve our stated goals in 2015 and reinvest in our business.

The reported effective tax rates for the quarter and full year were 19.6% and 23.3%, respectively. The underlying effective tax rate was 22.5% for the quarter and full year

The variance between the reported rate and the underlying rate was due to the tax effect of various items impacting comparability, separately disclosed in the Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures schedule.

Reported EPS was $0.28 and comparable EPS was $0.38 in the quarter. Items impacting comparability decreased reported EPS by a net $0.10 and were primarily related to noncash charges related to refranchising certain territories in North America and costs associated with our previously announced productivity program.

Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates resulted in a 13 point headwind on comparable operating income and a 10 point headwind on both comparable income before taxes and EPS in the quarter. Full

year fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates resulted in an 11 point headwind on comparable operating income and an 8 point headwind on both comparable income before taxes and EPS.

year cash from operations was $10.5 billion, down 1%, primarily due to the unfavorable impact from foreign currency exchange rates and the impact of refranchised territories in North America, partially offset by the efficient management of working capital.

year net share repurchases totaled $2.3 billion, in line with our previously communicated guidance.

REFRANCHISING UPDATE

As announced earlier today, based on the progress we have achieved to date, we are accelerating our refranchising plans in North America. We are now committed to refranchising 100% of our Company-owned bottling territories in North America, by the end of 2017, including all of our cold-fill production facilities.

We are also announcing that in China, we have entered into a non-binding letter of intent to refranchise our Company-owned bottling operations to our existing partners China Foods Limited, part of COFCO Limited, and Swire Beverage Holdings Limited.

The Company remains committed to the previously announced $3 billion productivity initiative by continuing to identify additional opportunities to offset the impact of the accelerated refranchising plans.

EURASIA AND AFRICA

Comparable CN Income Before Taxes *

Organic revenue and comparable currency neutral (CN) income before taxes are non-GAAP financial measures. Refer to the Notes and Reconciliation of GAAP and Non-GAAP Financial Measures schedule.

Organic revenue in the quarter grew due to strong price/mix, partially offset by the impact of six fewer days

Acquisitions and divestitures reflect the unfavorable impact from the brand transfer agreement associated with the closing of the transaction with Monster Beverage Corporation. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales growth was generally in line with unit case sales growth

Concentrate sales and unit case sales were also generally in line for the full

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes outpaced organic revenue growth in the quarter due to positive operating leverage driven by timing of expenses.

Sparkling beverage volume was flat in the quarter as growth from Trademark Coca-Cola and Sprite was offset by a decline in Fanta. Still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by double-digit growth in sports drinks, packaged water and ready-to-drink tea along with 4% growth in juice and juice drinks. We gained value share in total NARTD beverages, sparkling beverages and still beverages in the quarter. Unit case volume growth in the quarter included mid single-digit growth in both our Central, East & West Africa and Turkey, Caucasus & Central Asia business units along with double-digit growth in our Southern Africa business unit, partially offset by a mid single-digit decline in our Middle East & North Africa business unit.

EUROPE

The organic revenue decline in the quarter was primarily due to six fewer days

partially offset by positive price/mix of 1 point. Acquisitions and divestitures reflect the unfavorable impact from the brand transfer agreement associated with the closing of the transaction with Monster Beverage Corporation. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales growth was ahead of unit case sales growth due to timing of shipments. Concentrate sales and unit case sales were in line for the full

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes outpaced organic revenue growth in the quarter primarily due to the impact of our ongoing productivity initiatives.

Sparkling beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by 3% growth in Trademark Coca-Cola and 6% growth in Fanta, partially offset by a 1% decline in Sprite. Still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by the continued expansion of our still portfolio resulting in 5% growth in both packaged water and ready-to-drink tea, 1% growth in sports drinks and double-digit growth in the innocent brand. We gained value share in still beverages, juice and juice drinks and ready-to-drink tea in the quarter.

LATIN AMERICA

Organic revenue growth in the quarter was driven by strong positive price/mix, partially offset by the impact of six fewer days. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales growth was ahead of unit case sales growth due to timing of shipments. Concentrate sales and unit case sales were in line for the full

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes outpaced organic revenue growth in the quarter due to positive operating leverage driven by the impact of our ongoing productivity initiatives and timing of expenses.

Sparkling beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by 4% growth in Sprite and 1% growth in both brand Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Zero, partially offset by a 4% decline in Fanta. Still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by double-digit growth in both juice and juice drinks and sports drinks, as well as 4% growth in packaged water, partially offset by a decline of 4% in ready-to-drink tea. Unit case volume growth was driven by 6% growth in both Mexico and our Latin Center business unit, partially offset by a 5% decline in Brazil. We gained value share in still beverages (excluding packaged water) in the quarter.

NORTH AMERICA

Organic revenue declined in the quarter primarily due to the impact of six fewer days, partially offset by favorable price/mix. Acquisitions and divestitures primarily reflect the unfavorable impact of refranchised territories, partially offset by the benefit of our expanded distribution of Monster beverage products in North America. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales growth was in line with unit case sales growth. Concentrate sales and unit case sales were also in line for the full year.

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes trailed organic revenue growth in the quarter primarily due to the impact of a 6 point structural headwind, which includes the impact from refranchised territories as well as the net unfavorable impact from the brand transfer agreement associated with the closing of the transaction with Monster Beverage Corporation and the expanded distribution of Monster beverage products.

Sparkling beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by growth in Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite and Fanta, partially offset by a decline in Diet Coke. Still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by juice and juice drinks, ready-to-drink tea and packaged water. We gained value share in total NARTD beverages for the 23

consecutive quarter driven by the continued increase in the quantity and quality of our marketing investments along with our disciplined approach to pricing and packaging strategies.

ASIA PACIFIC

Organic revenue declined in the quarter driven by unfavorable price/mix and the impact of six fewer days. The unfavorable price/mix in the quarter was primarily driven by unfavorable geographic and product mix. After adjusting for the six fewer days in the quarter, concentrate sales growth was generally in line with unit case sales growth

Full-year concentrate sales growth lagged unit case sales growth primarily due to timing of shipments in the prior year.

Comparable currency neutral income before taxes trailed organic revenue growth in the quarter primarily due to an increase in marketing investments and the timing of operating expenses.

Sparkling beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by 6% growth in both Trademark Coca-Cola and Fanta along with 3% growth in Sprite. Still beverage volume growth in the quarter was driven by double-digit growth in both packaged water...


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