Coca-Cola Co.’s launch of low-calorie soft drink, Coke Zero, in Europe and Latin America helped drive the company’s profit growth in the first quarter of this year, according to reports.
The company’s operating income jumped 32.7 percent in Europe, due in large part to the launch of Coke Zero in eight countries there since the beginning of this year. The drink was also launched in seven Latin American countries, where operating income grew 18.9 percent this year.
The company announced first-quarter earnings of $1.26 billion, or 54 cents a share, up 13.5 percent from $1.11 billion, or 47 cents a share, for the similar period a year ago.
The company’s operating income in North America, however, dropped 10.6 percent during the same period.