Soft drinks maker Dr Pepper Snapple Group has raised its profits guidance for 2010, despite reporting a decline in profits and sales in the first quarter of the year.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group today (6 May) reported net sales at US$1.25bn for the three months to the end of March, narrowly down on sales of $1.26bn in the same period of 2009.

Volume sales fell by 3% as rises for Snapple, Mott's and Hawaiian Punch were offset by mid single-digit declines in carbonated soft drinks.

The group also reported net profits at $89m, compared to $132m in the first quarter of last year. Operating profits fell to $187m versus $265m

Despite this, the Dr Pepper producer raised its full-year guidance range for diluted earnings per share to $2.29 to $2.37, ahead of the previously forecast $2.27-$2.35.

Dr Pepper Snapple president and CEO, Larry Young, said: "While the US economy remains fragile, we are starting to see improvements in underlying consumer trends including the critical immediate consumption and fountain foodservice channels.

"This improvement combined with winning innovation, continued white space and cold drink expansion opportunities and ongoing investments in brand health gives me confidence in our full year outlook and the long-term growth prospects for this business."

For the full announcement, click here.