Coca-Cola Prices Could Jump

Coca-Cola drinkers can expect to pay more for their favorite drink this fall, after Coca-Cola Enterprises – the company’s biggest bottler – said it’s raising prices after Labor Day, the New York Times reported.

Problems at the bottler also hurt the Coca-Cola Company’s bottom line, because it owns about 35% of that business, the newspaper reported. Coke said last week that its profit fell 23% in the second quarter, when it took a charge because of the bottler’s woes.

Coca-Cola Enterprises has about 80% of the U.S. market for Coke. The company said it would raise prices after Labor Day because of higher commodity costs and declining American soda sales, and it also said prices would go up by a percentage in the mid-single digit to high-single digit range. Bottlers set prices for retailers like grocery stores.

Coca-Cola Enterprises posted a second-quarter loss Thursday of $3.17 billion, or $6.52 a share, in contrast to a profit of $270 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter. The company said the loss included a $5.3 billion write-down in the value of a franchise license in North America because of an expected decline in operating income, higher commodity prices and its falling share price.


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