Pepsi Bottling Group Inc., the largest bottler of Pepsi drinks, on Tuesday said quarterly net profit rose about 1 percent, helped by strong sales in Europe, and raised the bottom end of its full-year earnings forecast.
Pepsi Bottling said net income increased to $207 million, or 86 cents per share, for the third quarter ended September 9, from $205 million, or 82 cents per share, a year ago.
Excluding a gain of 5 cents per share due to income tax law changes, the company earned 81 cents per share, in line with the average estimate of analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
A year ago, it recorded a gain of 4 cents per share from a litigation settlement, the company said.
The bottler, which is about 43 percent owned by PepsiCo Inc. the world's No. 2 soft-drink company, said revenue rose 7.6 percent to $3.46 billion from $3.21 billion.
Strong sales in Russia and Turkey fueled a rise of 8 percent in case volume in Europe, which was tempered by a 1 percent decline in Mexico and 2 percent gains in the United States and Canada. Worldwide case volume rose 2 percent.
Pepsi Bottling, based in Somers, New York, said it expects full-year operating income to grow 6 percent to 8 percent, excluding stock option expenses.
Including stock option expenses of 18 cents per share and the gain in the third quarter, the company forecast full-year earnings of $1.90 to $1.93 per share.
Excluding the gain, the company forecast $1.85 to $1.88 per share. It had earlier forecast $1.82 to $1.88 per share.
The company affirmed its full-year forecast for volume growth of 4 percent worldwide and 3 percent for the U.S.
In the U.S. and Canada, sales of noncarbonated beverages grew swiftly in the third quarter, helped by Lipton Iced Teas, Starbucks Frappuccinos and the bottler's energy drinks.
Bottlers and soft-drink companies are trying to woo consumers who are moving away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions or to healthier low- or no-calorie beverages such as water and orange juice with reduced sugar.