The board of directors of The Coca-Cola Co. yesterday (17 April) declared a regular quarterly dividend of 38 cents per common share. The dividend is payable 1 July 2008, to shareowners of record as of 15 June 2008.

In February, the board approved the company's 46th consecutive annual increase, raising the quarterly dividend 12% . This is equivalent to an annual dividend of US$1.52 per share, up from $1.36 per share in 2007.

Earlier this week, the soft drink giant delivered a first quarter lift in profits due to strong international sales offsetting slower sales in North America's "challenging economic climate".

The soft-drinks company said net income for its first quarter ended 28 March was US$1.50bn compared with $1.26bn at the same time the previous year. Net operating revenue rose from $6.10bn last year to $7.38bn this year aided by foreign exchange rates.

Overall unit case volume rose 6% in the quarter, driven by a 7% gain in markets abroad, the company said.