The Coca-Cola Co. has reported a healthy set of results for 2007, with both sales and profits heading north.

The soft drinks giant said earlier today (13 February) that net profit for 2007 increased by 18% on 2006, totalling US$5.98bn, while sales were up by 20% year-on-year to $28.86bn. In volume terms, sales came in 6% up on 2006.

Operating profit for the year rose 15% to $7.25bn.

For the fourth quarter of last year, net profit rose 79% to $1.24bn, with sales up 24% to $7.33bn.

While the company's CSD - or "sparkling" - portfolio delivered volume growth of 4% for both the final quarter and the year, Coca-Cola's still beverage portfolio delivered a more impressive quarterly 11% and annual 12% growth, driven by its Dasani and Powerade brands.

Sales in North America rose by 11% in the full-year, despite a 1% dip in volumes. CSD volumes were down by 2%, offset by a 5% lift in still volume sales. In Europe, the company saw sales climb 14% for the year, despite poor weather and the unfavourable comparisons from the World Cup in Germany in 2006. Sales and volumes in the Pacific region, meanwhile, were both up by 7%, driven by rapid growth in China and a turnaround in fortunes in the Philippines.

"Our international business, led by the emerging markets, continues to drive our overall growth, while stabilising key markets like Japan, the Philippines and North America underscores our ability to re-energise major markets," said Coca-Cola's president and COO Muhtar Kent. "Our three-cola strategy has revitalised the sparkling category, and we successfully expanded our still portfolio through key acquisitions like Glacéau, Fuze and Jugos del Valle, while continuing to build our innovation pipeline.

"As we look to 2008, the foundation is in place to deliver another successful year of balanced geographic and brand growth for The Coca-Cola Company," concluded Kent.