Business

Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Bottling posts profit of $25.6 million

A 7.5-ounce can of Coca-cola, left, is posed next to a 12-ounce can for comparison on Jan. 12 in Philadelphia. As people cut back on soda, the two beverage giants, Coke and Pepsi, are increasingly pushing smaller cans and bottles they say contain fewer calories and induce less guilt.
A 7.5-ounce can of Coca-cola, left, is posed next to a 12-ounce can for comparison on Jan. 12 in Philadelphia. As people cut back on soda, the two beverage giants, Coke and Pepsi, are increasingly pushing smaller cans and bottles they say contain fewer calories and induce less guilt. AP

Charlotte-based Coca-Cola Bottling Co. reported earnings that more than doubled in the third quarter compared with a year ago, thanks to an increase in sales.

After markets closed Tuesday, the bottler reported a net income of $25.6 million, up from $12.1 million in the same quarter in 2014. On a per-share basis, the company reported a net income of $2.74. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.73 a share.

The company, which is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the U.S., posted revenue of $618.8 million for the third quarter, up from $457.7 million in the same period in 2014.

Included in its third quarter results were special items including costs related to the bottler’s expansion of its distribution territory and preparation to buy manufacturing facilities from Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, which has been working to sell off bottling operations as changing consumer tastes in the U.S. weigh on soda sales.

“Our financial results in the third quarter and first nine months of 2015 reflect solid revenue growth combined with a favorable cost of goods environment and an outstanding effort from all of our dedicated employees,” Frank Harrison, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. employs about 550 people at its South Park headquarters. The company recently said it had outgrown those facilities and will open a new call center on W.T. Harris Boulevard this fall and add 140 new employees over the next three years.

Shares of Coca-Cola Bottling have more than doubled since the beginning of the year. In the final minutes of trading on Tuesday, shares hit $207.42, more than doubling in the last 12 months.

The Associated Press contributed.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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