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Diet Coke grows for first time in 8 years after makeover

Diet Coke grows for first time in 8 years after makeover

NEW YORK — Diet Coke's makeover, which put the sugar-free drink in skinny colorful cans, helped the low-calorie brand sell more soda in North America for the first time in nearly eight years.

Coca-Cola Co. introduced four new flavours of Diet Coke in February, including mango and ginger lime, to try and lure back customers who switched to other flavoured fizzy water and other low-calorie drinks. The Atlanta-based company also redesigned the 35-year-old drink's logo.

CEO James Quincey said the relaunch was able to bring back people who stopped drinking Diet Coke, as well as attract new drinkers, such as millennials.

Its other diet drink, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, also posted growth after a relaunch last year that replaced Coca-Cola Zero.

Overall volume rose 3 per cent in the first three months of the year, helped by its namesake Coca-Cola brand.

The company has also been selling its bottling business to focus on selling concentrates of its drinks. The move helped Coca-Cola's profit rise 16 per cent to $1.37 billion, or 32 cents per share. Adjusted earnings came to 47 cents per share, beating Wall Street's per-share expectations by a penny.

Revenue fell 16 per cent to $7.63 billion during the quarter, mainly because of the shedding of its bottling operations, which cuts costs, but lowers revenue. The numbers still topped Wall Street expectations.

Coca-Cola's stock slipped 2 per cent to $43.08 on Tuesday.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on KO at https://www.zacks.com/ap/KO

The Associated Press