The task force that was assigned to Coca-Cola in 2001 to monitor its efforts to promote diversity in the company has delivered a generally positive third annual report.

The task force, which was appointed after Coke settled a discrimination lawsuit, said the company had made progress in boosting diversity in senior-level hiring.

The report said that minorities account for 31.2% of Coke's US work force, up from 28.7% in 2000. African-American representation has increased to 21% from 19.7%.

That said there were still concerns. The report stated that "much work remains to be done" on areas such as employment practices and career development.

And the report said that African-American employees continue to be "significantly more negative about the company's diversity climate than white employees".