If any further proof was needed of the inflation resistance demonstrated by the group's business, the quarterly results for the first quarter of 2023, published earlier this week, provide it with force: compared to the first quarter of 2022, volumes sold are up by only 1%, but revenues are up by 5% thanks to price increases.

The operating margin fell by 180 basis points, from 32.5% to 30.7%, but this was due to the strong dollar rather than the inflationary context. Cash generation was similarly benign this quarter, as it was impacted by temporary working capital adjustments.

Management still expects free cash flow to be $9.5 billion this year, which on a normalized basis - excluding the pandemic year and working capital distortions - would be an all-time record.

This momentum is supported by the good performance of the non-soda segments. The Costa coffee brand, for example, is a great success in the UK and China; Coca-Cola's return to mineral water is going better than the first time through the Smartwater brand; and the group is gaining market share in the huge Indian market.

Over the long trend, a decade of fiscal years between 2012 and 2022, there is a resumption of growth - after a decline in sales at the beginning of the period - combined with a clear expansion of operating margins.

Over the period, Coca-Cola generates an average annual cash profit of $8 billion. It returns three-quarters of this in dividends, while the remaining quarter is used for share buybacks - a capital allocation that makes sense given that the stock price has never been low enough to accelerate buybacks.

Coca-Cola's stock actually looks more like a bond, with a coupon - free cash flow per share - as stable as it is reliable at $1.8 on average over the decade. At $64 a share, or x35 earnings, the exceptional resilience of the underlying business is unsurprisingly reflected in the current valuation.