BUSINESS
06/24/2011 02:56 pm ET | Updated Aug 24, 2011

Coca-Cola Raising Its Prices In July By At Least 3 To 4 Percent

Coca-Cola Co plans to raise prices on its soft drinks by 3 percent to 4 percent in July, in addition to a 2 percent increase taken earlier this year, a company spokesman said on Friday.

News of the increases -- to be implemented on July 31 -- was first reported by industry newsletter Beverage Digest, which quoted retail customer pricing letters as saying the increases were due to higher-than-anticipated commodity costs.

Like many food and drink companies, Coca-Cola is facing higher costs for goods like corn, oil and packaging.

Coca-Cola, the world's largest soft drink maker, said earlier this year that it expected to raise prices in that range, but the timing was unknown.

Credit Suisse analyst Carlos Laboy said in a research note that there were concerns the company would wait until after Labor Day, at the end of the summer. That would make it more difficult for other soft drink makers, like PepsiCo Inc and Dr Pepper Snapple, to raise prices on their products during the key summer selling season.

"Today's news should provide some relief for all players in the industry in North America," Laboy wrote.

Beverage Digest reported earlier this month that Pepsi was notifying retailers of price increases of 3 percent to 5 percent between July 10 and around Labor Day.

Coke shares were up 0.2 percent at $65.09 in afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Pepsi shares were up 0.8 percent at $68.54.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by John Wallace)

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