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Coca-Cola CEO Says Its Business Is Still Lagging Even In Markets That Have Coronavirus Under Control

Jul 23, 2020

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey said that the company’s business will likely not recover completely from the coronavirus pandemic until a vaccine or another comprehensive solution is available.

“Business is still struggling to recover to pre-Covid levels even in those places where there’s no real transmission of the virus and the large majority of locations are allowed to open,” Quincey said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “We’re still not back to those levels even where it’s been most under control.”

Countries like New Zealand and Thailand have contained Covid-19, while the United States and others have seen cases spike again. The latest surge has led many states and countries to reimpose restrictions on bars, movie theaters and indoor dining, dealing a blow to Coke’s business.

The company typically makes about half of its revenue from away-from-home sales. During its second quarter, revenue plunged 28% to $7.2 billion, marking its largest quarterly revenue decline in more than 30 years.

Unit case volume, which helps measure growth without the impact of price and currency changes, showed signs of sequential improvement as global lockdowns ease. After plunging 25% in April, unit case volume fell by just 10% in June. So far in July, volume has fallen by the mid-single digits.

Shares of Coke were up nearly 3% in midday trading. The stock, which has a market value of $203 billion, has fallen 14% so far this year.