Coca-Cola Enterprises has raised its profits guidance for 2009 after reporting a sales rise and a jump in net profits for the first quarter of the year.

Net profits soared to US$61m for the three-month period, up from $8m in the same period of 2008, Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) said today (28 April).

Net sales rose by 3% to $5bn for the three months, as higher prices helped to offset a sales volume decline of 0.5%.

Operating profits rose by 47% on a comparable basis to $92m, the soft drinks bottler said, adding that it has raised its operating profits guidance for the full-year from a low single-digit rise to a mid-single digit rise.

Diluted earnings per share are expected to be in a range of $1.24 to $1.29, including a 20% negative currency impact.

CCE chairman and CEO John Brock praised the group's efforts to grow revenues and cut costs in the first quarter, but remained cautious for the full-year.

"We remain cautious about the rest of the year, however, as the first quarter is our smallest reporting period and general economic conditions remain challenging, both in North America and Europe."

First quarter volume sales in North America fell by 3%, despite "solid growth" for Coca-Cola Zero, Powerade Zero and Monster Energy.

In Europe, CCE saw volume growth of 5.5% for the quarter, with rises in both carbonated and non-carbonated drinks.

In its outlook, CCE said that it expects full-year sales revenues in North America to increase in the low to mid single-digit range and Europe to rise in the mid single-digit range.