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Coca-Cola sees second quarter sales hit from coronavirus lockdown

FILE PHOTO: Coca-Cola bottles are pictured in Lagos, Nigeria November 5, 2019. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

(Reuters) – Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) on Tuesday forecast a significant hit to current-quarter results as restaurants, theaters and other venues that represent about half of the company’s revenue remain closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, which was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has claimed the lives of nearly 170,000 across the globe and has forced restaurants, grocers, sports arenas and entertainment venues to shut doors.

The group, which provides syrups and concentrates to several fast-food chains, theaters and amusement parks, said it saw volumes drop about 25{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} globally since the beginning of April, largely stemming from the loss of sales other than at retail stores.

The Atlanta-based beverage maker, which last month said it would not be able to reach this year’s financial goals, now expects current-quarter comparable revenue to include a 4{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to 5{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} hit from a stronger dollar.

Several concerts and sporting events, including the company-sponsored Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been postponed or canceled.

“The ultimate impact on the second quarter and full year 2020 is unknown at this time … However, the impact to the second quarter will be material,” the company said in a statement here

For the first quarter ended March 27, net revenue fell 1{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} to $8.6 billion. [nL4N2C92UM]

Excluding one-time items, Coke earned 51 cents per share, beating market consensus estimate of 44 cents, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Arun Koyyur

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