Coca-Cola Enterprises has posted a strong leap in Q2 profit. The bottler said today (28 July) that net income for the three-month period soared by 64% year-on-year, reaching US$333m, or 70 cents per diluted share.

The results include net favourable items totalling 12 cents per share, consisting primarily of proceeds from a settlement of high fructose corn syrup litigation and the benefit of state income tax rate changes, the company said.

Volumes in North America increased 1.5% in the second quarter, with European volume growth of 3%. Net operating revenues totalled US$5.13bn, up by 6% from US$4.84bn a year earlier.

"Our second quarter performance reflects the combined benefits of solid revenue growth driven by balanced pricing and volume results and the success of our ongoing operating expense initiatives," said Lowry F. Kline, chairman of the board. "The trends demonstrated by this performance, coupled with the full benefit of the extensive product innovations implemented in the first half of the year, gives us the confidence that our full-year earnings will reach the mid-$1.30s."

"Our second quarter performance was characterised by strong marketplace execution, which drove balanced North American volume and pricing growth, and the successful introduction of two important new products, Diet Coke Sweetened with Splenda and Coca-Cola Zero," said John R. Alm, president and CEO. "Though carbonated soft drink trends remain challenging, we outperformed the category and achieved volume growth in both the future and immediate consumption channels.

"Our new products, which also include Full Throttle, Coca-Cola with Lime, and Dasani flavoured waters, have generated excellent response among retailers and consumers," Alm said. "The strength of these product introductions, coupled with a rational industry pricing environment, leaves us encouraged as we enter the second half of the year.

"In Europe, we achieved volume growth amid difficult category and retail industry trends that limited our ability to achieve planned levels of pricing," Mr. Alm said. "While these trends are likely to continue in the second half of the year, we are optimistic that our brand innovation efforts and marketplace strategies will generate continued growth throughout our European territories."

Looking forward, CCE said that it expects full-year earnings per diluted share to reach the mid-US$1.30s, in line with its forecast of between US1.30 and US$1.36.