PepsiCo Inc
said quarterly profit nearly doubled, helped by strong growth in Asia, but drinks volumes declined in North America.

The maker of Pepsi-Cola drinks and Frito-Lay snacks stood by its earnings expectations for the year and said it still hopes to complete its $7.8 billion acquisition of its two largest bottlers by the end of the month.

Coca-Cola Co also cited strong demand in emerging markets such as China and India when it reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales earlier this week.

PepsiCo, the world's second largest soft drink maker after Coca-Cola, earned $1.4 billion, or 90 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared with $719 million, or 46 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 4.5 percent to $13.3 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting a profit of 90 cents per share on revenue of $13.26 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Across the company's portfolio, the total volume of snacks sold rose 1 percent, while beverage volume fell 1 percent.

Volume fell 5 percent in the North American beverage business and was flat in its Americas food unit, driven by a flat quarter at Frito-Lay North America, a 2 percent decrease at Quaker Foods North America, and a flat performance in its Latin American food business.

Volume in its international division rose 4 percent in snacks and 3 percent in beverages. In Europe, volume fell 3 percent in snacks and was flat in beverages. In the unit covering Asia, Africa and the Middle East, snack volume soared 13 percent and beverage volume rose 5 percent, due in part to strong growth in India.

PepsiCo, which also owns Tropicana, Quaker and Gatorade, stood by its 2010 forecast for earnings growth of 11 percent to 13 percent, excluding one-time items.


PepsiCo launched a takeover bid for Pepsi Bottling Group Inc
and PepsiAmericas Inc
in April and struck a deal in August after sweetening its offer.

The bottlers' shareholders are set to vote on the deal February 17. PepsiCo aims to improve its North American operations through the acquisitions, by reducing costs and removing inherent tensions between PepsiCo and the bottlers, which currently count PepsiCo as both a shareholder and supplier.

Shares of PepsiCo edged up 0.2 percent to $60.49 in premarket trading.

The shares gained 7.4 percent from August 3, the day before it announced the bottler deal, through Wednesday, outpacing a 5.6 percent gain for the Dow Jones U.S. Food and Beverage Makers Index <.DJUSFB>, of which it is a component.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl; additional reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; editing by Dave Zimmerman and John Wallace)