Diet Coke reboot drives Coca-Cola sales bounce

The launch of its popular low-calorie Diet Coke aimed at millennials — ginger-lime, feisty cherry, blood orange and twisted mango — helped the brand return to volume growth in the quarter. (Reuters)
Updated 24 April 2018
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Diet Coke reboot drives Coca-Cola sales bounce

Coca-Cola Co. beat Wall Street estimates with quarterly results on Tuesday, citing more demand for Coke Zero Sugar and new flavors under its Diet Coke brand as overall revenue topped expectations by around $300 million.
Shares of the Dow component were up nearly 1 percent at $44.44 in pre-market trade.
The company said the launch of its popular low-calorie Diet Coke aimed at millennials — ginger-lime, feisty cherry, blood orange and twisted mango — helped the brand return to volume growth in the quarter.
Unit case volume rose 4 percent for sparkling soft drinks and 5 percent for its teas and coffees, Coca-Cola said in a statement.
The Fanta and Sprite maker’s net profit rose to $1.37 billion, or 32 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 30 from $1.18 billion, or 27 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, Coke earned 47 cents per share, compared to analysts’ estimate of 46 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue fell 16 percent to $7.63 billion, due to the divestment of its bottling operations, but beat analysts’ estimate of $7.34 billion.


Maalem Financing raises $26m in debut sukuk

Updated 17 October 2018
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Maalem Financing raises $26m in debut sukuk

  • The sukuk from Maalem, a shariah-compliant commercial and consumer financing firm, is a small but novel deal
  • The three-year unsubordinated deal was sold through a private placement and Maalem could tap the market again

LONDON: Saudi Arabia’s Maalem Financing has raised SR100 million ($26.6 million) from a debut sale of Islamic bonds, or sukuk, as the firm seeks to develop a crowdfunding product and expand its operations, a senior executive said on Tuesday.
The sukuk from Maalem, a shariah-compliant commercial and consumer financing firm, is a small but novel deal in a market that is dominated by issuance from sovereign institutions and Islamic banks.
The three-year unsubordinated deal was sold through a private placement and Maalem could tap the market again as early as January next year, said John Sandwick, a member of Maalem’s board of directors.
“The program is for SR500 million and with 3.6 times oversubscription, there seems to be a lot of demand,” he said.
Additional sales of sukuk aimed to raise between SR100 million and SR200 million, depending on market conditions, he said, adding that Maalem may consider a dollar-denominated sukuk issuance at a later stage.
The debut transaction used a structure known as murabaha, a cost-plus-profit arrangement commonly used in Saudi Arabia. The firm hoped to use an asset-backed structure for future deals, Sandwick said.
Established in 2009, Maalem received regulatory approval to operate as a non-real estate finance company in 2016 and increased its capital in 2017 to SR150 million.
The company plans to open several regional offices by the end of 2018 and is awaiting regulatory approval for a crowdfunding license, Sandwick said.
Crowdfunding enables startup firms to collect small sums of money from many individuals as an alternative to bank loans.
Albilad Capital, the investment banking unit of Bank Albilad, served as sole lead manager and arranger of the sukuk.