PepsiCo has seen its final quarter profits slip thanks to a higher tax rate and fall in CSD sales volumes.

The soft drinks giant, which reported its full-year results today (7 February), said that group net profit for the last three months of 2007 slipped to US$1.26bn from $1.83bn a year earlier. Total sales were up for the quarter, however, at $12.34bn from $10.57bn.

In North America, PBNA saw total volume lift by 1% in the final quarter, although CSD volumes were down by "low single digits". The unit's juice and juice drinks portfolio also saw volumes slip by low-single digits, as a result of the ongoing effect of previous price increases.

At PepsiCo International, beverage volumes were up by 9%, thanks to strong performances in the Middle East, China, Brazil, Argentina, India and Russia. These pluses were partially offset by declines in Mexico, Thailand and Spain. In total, CSDs grew at a high-single-digit rate, posting growth in each of the division's four largest trademarks - Pepsi, 7-Up, Mirinda and Mountain Dew.

For the quarter, the reported tax rate was 29.8% versus -7.5% in the prior year. Excluding the impact of net tax benefits recorded in both years, the comparable quarterly tax rate was 30.6% versus 28.4% last year.

For the full year, net profit held steady, hitting $5.66bn from $5.64bn, with sales climbing to $39.47 from $35.14bn.

"All of our segments posted solid results for the year," said PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. "The new organisation is ready to take the best of PepsiCo across our divisions and geographies to generate profitable growth, expand our global footprint and make 'Performance with Purpose' the driving force behind everything we do."

Starting from the first quarter of 2008, PepsiCo is set to report its results as six business segments - Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods North America, Latin America Foods, PepsiCo Americas Beverages, UK/Europe and Middle East/Africa/Asia - from the previous four.

Looking forward, PepsiCo said it expects this year to be "consistent with long-term targets". For 2008, the company said it expects 3% to 5% volume growth and mid-to-high single digit net revenue growth.