Coca-Cola Bottling Co has reported a slight dip in net sales for the first quarter of 2009.

Net sales dipped to $336.3m for the three months to the end of March, compared to $337.7m for the same period of 2008, said Coca-Cola Bottling Consolidated yesterday (7 May).

The soft drinks bottler reported net profits of $8.5m for the quarter, against losses of $4.3m last year, however.

Frank Harrison III, company chairman and CEO, said: "While we are pleased with our first quarter results, we continue to face challenges in the current uncertain economic environment.

"We are glad to see commodity prices subside from last year's all time record high prices and to see continued focus on our operating expense management, resulting in improved operating income."

The group's operating profits rose to $21.1m in the quarter, up from $20.5m last year.