Amalgamated Beverage Industries has announced healthy figures for the quarter ended 31 December. The South African soft drink producer said today that sales growth for the quarter was "in excess of 10%."

Growth for the nine months to December last year reached around 8% through increased sales in both the alternative and traditional soft drinks sectors. The company heightened peak promotional activity during the period resulting in positive consumer consumption trends, it said.

The company also benefited from the interest rate decrease of 5.5% last year, from 17% in April to 11.5% in December. Weather conditions last year helped increase consumption for Amalgamated, as maximum temperatures over the previous year rose by 2.1 degrees on average.

In October last year, Amalgamated Beverage announced that it had increased its volumes (6%), adjusted headline earnings (21%), dividend per share (21%) and profits from operations (12%) for the six months to 30 September 2003.