Coca-Cola to cut costs by $1 billion

Coca-Cola Co., faced with tepid demand and a drop in fourth-quarter earnings, said it was initiating a $1-billion cost-cutting campaign to improve profitability.

The world's largest beverage company said Tuesday that profit fell 8.4% in the fourth quarter last year compared with the same period the previous year.


Shares of the Atlanta company fell $1.46, or 3.8%, to $37.47.

Coca-Cola said its fourth-quarter net income fell to $1.71 billion, or 38 cents a share, from $1.87 billion, or 41 cents, a year earlier.

Muhtar Kent, Coke's chairman, said the company remained confident about the coming year.

"While we move forward in what remains an uncertain global economy, the long-term fundamentals driving our business and industry have not changed," he said in a news release.

"We see many reasons to believe we can accelerate our growth. We are committed to accelerating marketing investments in our brands, further advancing our innovation strategies and maximizing productivity and reinvestment for growth."

Sales of Coke's carbonated beverages fell 3% in North America during the quarter, the company said.

Kent said the company would reduce the money it spends on supply and data management and reinvest in marketing to increase demand.