Coca-Cola sales dropped 28% in the second quarter due to the closure of restaurants, movie theaters and sports arenas, but the company says that the worst could be over.
James Quincey, the company’s chairman and CEO, said that sales have improved in May, June and July. And even as new coronavirus cases surge in key markets, such as Japan, sales haven’t been as negatively affected as they did when the pandemic first started.
Speaking with investors in a conference call Tuesday, Quincey said that another worldwide lockdown is unlikely to happen.
“I am pretty confident the second quarter will ultimately prove to be the most difficult and the most impactful quarter,” Quincey said, according to The Associated Press.
But while there are “promising signs the most challenging period is indeed behind us in much of the world,” Quincey acknowledged that “there’s still a lot of work to do”
Overall, revenue fell 28% to $7.15 billion for the quarter ending June 26, down from $10 billion a year earlier. Number of unit cases sold dropped 25%, compared to the previous year.
Since about half of Coca-Cola’s business comes from away-from-home venues, the unprecedented situation of closures around the globe pushed the soda giant to its biggest quarterly sales drop in at least 25 years, according to the Financial Times.
Fast food restaurants, some of which were still able to operate through drive-thru services, didn’t see too much of an impact. But sales at office buildings suffered greatly.
As governments began easing shelter-in-place measures enacted to control the spread of the virus, however, the company noticed an improvement of sales around the world in May and June.
China, Southeast Asia and Western Europe have done a “pretty good job in managing the worst stages of the pandemic,” John Murphy, the company’s finance chief, told Market Watch.
“Here in the U.S., we’re seeing a spike in a number of places but the degree of lockdown is not nearly what it was,” he added.
Several U.S. states have recently announced a reversal on reopening measures, as COVID-19 cases begin to spike.
Last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced an immediate shutdown of bars, movie theaters, zoos, and indoor restaurants.
Florida, Texas, Arizona and Louisiana are some of the states that have also backtracked recently enacted re-opening measures.