October 24, 2007 / 12:02 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 2-PepsiAmericas quarterly profit up, shares up

(Adds share movement, CEO quote, other details)

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.

Fourth quarter will have an estimated 3 cents a share dilution from the Sandora acquisition, and higher anticipated selling delivery and administrative costs in the U.S., the company said.

PepsiAmericas and PepsiCo PEP.N jointly purchased 80 percent in Ukrainian juice company Sandora LLC in August. They expect to acquire the remaining 20 percent in November.

Shares of the company rose $1.91 to $34.36 in morning trade on the Nasdaq. (Reporting by Ankur Relia in Bangalore)

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