NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) Coca-Cola Co said on Wednesday that its quarterly net profit rose a better-than-expected 13 percent, helped by strong sales of noncarbonated drinks and the weak dollar.
The world's largest beverage company said net income rose to $1.65 billion, or 71 cents per share, for the third quarter ended Sept. 28, up from $1.46 billion, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting 68 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.
A 3 cent per share restructuring charge in the quarter was offset by a 3 cent per share gain, mostly from the sale of a portion of its Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd holdings, the company said.
Net operating revenue rose 19 percent to $7.69 billion, helped by higher sales of its beverage concentrate, acquisitions of certain bottlers, the weak dollar, higher pricing and a greater ratio of more expensive products.
The weak dollar boosts the value of sales in other currencies when they are converted to dollars for inclusion on the company's income statement.
Worldwide case volume rose 6 percent, with increases of 4 percent for carbonated drinks and 14 percent for noncarbonated beverages, such as Powerade and Dasani bottled water.
Volume rose 1 percent in North America and more than 4 percent in Japan, but fell 2 percent in Europe, hurt in part by unfavorable weather. The company said it saw double-digit volume growth in some key emerging markets, including China, Turkey, Russia and India.
Coca-Cola has increasingly relied on developing markets for growth, since its soft drink sales in North America have slowed as health-conscious consumers have cut down on sugary soft drinks.
Coke shares, which closed on Tuesday at $57.76 on the New York Stock Exchange, have gained about 9 percent over the last three months.
At Tuesday's close, Coke shares were trading near their highest level in more than 6 years. Their price-to-earnings ratio was about 22, a slight premium to rival PepsiCo Inc, which had a multiple of 21.2.
(See http://blogs.reuters.com/category/themes/shop-talk/ for ''Shop Talk'' -- Reuters' retail and consumer blog) (Reporting by Martinne Geller) (Editing by Derek Caney and Gerald E. McCormick; Reuters messaging: martinne.geller.reuters.comzreuters.net; martinne.gellerzreuters.com; +1 646 223 6023)) REUTERS SI BD1911