UPDATE 2-PepsiAmericas quarterly profit up, shares up

miércoles 24 de octubre de 2007 16:50 CEST

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - PepsiAmericas Inc. PAS.N, the No. 2 Pepsi bottler, on Wednesday reported higher third-quarter profit on strong volume growth in Central Europe and better selling prices worldwide, sending shares up 6 percent.

However, volumes fell 1.6 percent in the U.S., where carbonated soft drinks volumes continued to fall, but the non-carbonated portfolio, excluding water, kept its double-digit growth pace at 11 percent.

"Our European business continues to be our strongest contributor, with revenues up double digits on volume gains in Romania, solid pricing in each of our markets, and continued foreign currency benefits," Chief Executive Robert Pohlad said in a statement.

Net income for the third quarter rose nearly 35 percent to $71.5 million, or 55 cents a share. This included a charge of 1 cent a share from the previously announced realignment of its U.S. sales organization.

Revenue rose 11 percent to $1.18 billion. Net sales in the U.S., which represents more than 70 percent of its total sales, grew 4 percent to $877.9 million, driven by net pricing growth of 5.2 percent.

Wall Street analysts were expecting the Minneapolis-based company to earn 50 cents a share, before items, on revenue of $1.17 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.

PepsiAmericas also raised its full-year adjusted earnings outlook to $1.63 to $1.66 a share, from its earlier view of $1.55 to $1.60 a share. The raise followed the stronger-than-expected third-quarter results.

Worldwide volume increased 4.3 percent including acquisitions, with Central Europe growing by over 25 percent. Average net selling price increased 6.5 percent.   Continuación...