Coca-Cola to raise prices in lieu of bottler woes

ATLANTA Coca-Cola Enterprises, the biggest bottler for Coca-Cola Company, has said that it will be forced to raise its prices, which could affect prices of its products across the board.

Coca-Cola Enterprises owns about 80 percent of the U.S. market for Coke. It cited higher costs of commodities and a drop in U.S. sales as reasons for its price hike.

For the second quarter, the bottler has reported a loss of $3.17 billion, or $6.52 per share. That compares to $270 million, or 56 cents per share, for the same quarter last year.

Coca-Cola has recently faced a drop in carbonated beverage sales in the United States. Yet the company has managed to keep U.S. volumes at the same rate due to help from sales of Glaceau’s Vitaminwater, which accounted for $4.1 billion last June. But Coca-Cola also reported that U.S. profits dropped off by 23 percent in the second quarter because of the pressure from its bottler’s troubles.

Coca-Cola officials have stated that the company has strong relationships with its bottlers and will consider both volume and price in order to maintain growth and keep its market share outlook positive.

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