October 18/Atlanta/Business Wire -- The Coca-Cola Company reported strong third quarter and year-to-date 2011 operating results, once again meeting or exceeding its long-term growth targets and gaining volume and value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages as well as in both the sparkling and still beverage categories. The company continues to advance its global momentum from a position of strength, realizing growth across each of its five geographic operating groups during a time of mixed economic recovery around the world.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company, said, "We are pleased with our third quarter results. For a sixth consecutive quarter, we delivered performance results in line with or ahead of our long-term growth targets. Importantly, we accomplished these results during a time of ongoing global market volatility, which is a testament to our clear and focused system vision, strong brands and solid execution. As we said when we launched our 2020 Vision, we are a growing business that is continually adapting to ever-changing economic circumstances and consumer preferences, underscoring the strength and resilience of our business.

"In 2009, when the world's financial markets were in turmoil, our global system made a commitment to invest through the crisis. Today, as we execute our 2020 Vision, we continue to strategically invest in consumer marketing and sales execution, all with a single-minded goal of becoming the beverage leader in every market and in every category of value to us. As a result of that commitment, our global system has never been stronger.

"In short, we believe that our 2020 Vision is working. Yet every one of us here at The Coca-Cola Company knows that we are really just getting started. We remain constructively discontent and resolutely focused on our future -- a future filled with abundant opportunities.

"Our job, as stewards of this great business and as caretakers for our shareowners' investment, is to ensure that we keep advancing our global system's strong momentum. With our 2020 Vision as our roadmap, we are confident that we can sustainably achieve our long-term growth targets and enhance the value of The Coca-Cola Company."

The Coca-Cola Company reported worldwide volume growth of 5% in the quarter and 6% year-to-date. Excluding new cross-licensed brands in North America, primarily Dr Pepper brands, worldwide volume grew 4% in the quarter and 5% year-to-date. In the quarter and year-to-date, we grew global volume and value share in NARTD beverages, with volume and value share gains across most beverage categories and continued growth in immediate consumption beverages, up 5% year-to-date.

It continued to see growth in sparkling beverages, with worldwide brand Coca-Cola volume growth of 3% in the quarter driven by a number of markets around the world, including 17% in India, 11% in Argentina, 7% in China, 6% in both Mexico and 5% each in France, Germany and Great Britain. Worldwide sparkling beverage volume grew 4% in the quarter, with international sparkling beverage volume up 3%. New cross-licensed brands in North America, primarily Dr Pepper brands, contributed 1%age point of growth to worldwide sparkling beverages in the quarter.

Worldwide still beverage volume grew 9% in the quarter, led by growth across the portfolio, including juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and water brands. Still beverage volume in the quarter grew 10% internationally and 4% in North America. Minute Maid Pulpy continues to expand globally and achieved 20% growth in the quarter. Water volume grew 11% in the quarter as Coca-Cola continues to focus on innovative and sustainable immediate consumption packaging such as the PlantBottle  in North America, which is driving new customer listings, and a lightweight crushable bottle for water brands in Asia and Latin America.

 From the October 18, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.