Eighteen months ago Coca-Cola Company CEO Ahmet Muhtar Kent delivered a five-point plan to reinvigorate company growth and increase profitability. In February, he reported a successful transition year in 2015, where he reported tangible progress on the plan to rejuvenate brand loyalty in a challenging macro environment.
During the company’s fiscal first quarter of 2016, Kent reported another positive step during the April 20 earnings call.

“We’re in the midst of transforming The Coca-Cola Company to one that is even more focused on our core value creation model of building and supporting strong brands, enhancing customer value, and leading our franchise system,” Kent said, according to Seeking Alpha. “During the first quarter, our continued focus on our five strategic initiatives enabled us to gain value share and deliver positive top-line growth with underlying margin expansion. With the first quarter behind us, we see the challenging global environment continuing, but we remain committed to our full-year targets we laid out in February for both the top and bottom-line performance.”

From a highlights perspective, the company continued to execute on its strategic initiatives.

“In the first quarter, we unveiled our new global one brand marketing strategy for Trademark Coca-Cola under the Taste the Feeling campaign, which is elevating system engagement with our employees, bottling partners, and customers,” Kent said. “The initial consumer response is encouraging and positive. Finally, we are accelerating our global refranchising efforts. In North America, we continued to make progress against our stated goal of refranchising 100% of our bottling operations by the end of 2017. Including the territories announced this morning, we have transferred or signed agreements on almost two-thirds of the U.S. territories we originally acquired from CCE.”

Coca-Cola is on the right path toward its goals, but Kent knows this is a marathon, not a sprint.

“We recognize that we still have much work to do, but we have defined a clear path to transform the company and we’re making consistent progress to create long-term value for our shareowners,” he added. “The Coca-Cola Company is becoming stronger, more efficient, and more focused on our core strengths of marketing and brand-building, customer value creation, and leading our franchise bottling system. We’re making progress implementing our disciplined global revenue growth management strategy. We’re also building new growth opportunities with still and sparkling brands that we develop internally, we acquire from the outside, and we invest in through partnerships. And our franchise bottling system is also getting strong, faster, more nimble, and more closely aligned. In short, my colleagues and I are getting up every single day with a fresh passion for doing the things that will create long-term sustainable value.”

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