On Wednesday Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc beat expectations by reporting a quarterly profit after excluding items.

The soft drink giant earned 22 cents per share toping analyst estimates of 19 cents a share. These earnings exclude a $2.3 billion impairment charge related to writing down the value of its North American franchise license, Reuters reported.

The largest bottler of Coca-Cola Co drinks reported a net loss of $1.45 billion, or $2.99 per share, compared to a net profit of $158 million, or 32 cents per share, a year ago.

In the recent year sales have dropped to $5.24 billion compared to $5.30 billion a year ago.

The company affirmed its 2009 forecast, saying it expects operating income to grow at a low single-digit rate and earnings per share to grow at a mid single-digit rate.