Soft drinks bottler The Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) has announced a rise in its quarterly dividend.

PBG said the increase, from US$0.11 to $0.14, would be the fourth consecutive year that its board has approved an increase in the dividend. It will be payable on 29 June to shareholders of record on 8 June.
"PBG has an outstanding track record of returning cash to shareholders," said president and CEO Eric J. Foss. "In the last three years, we have returned $1.8bn through share repurchases and dividends. This latest dividend increase is further evidence of management's and the board's confidence in our long-term outlook."

More good news could be on the way for PBG shareholders following an upbeat forecast for 2007 issued earlier in the year. The company announced at the end of January that it expected operating profit to rise by up to 4% this year on the back of rising sales in the US and overseas.

The New York-based group has forecast a 2% to 4% rise in operating profit this year, and expects revenues from its domestic business to rise by over 4%. Turnover from overseas operations, which include plants in Canada, Mexico and Turkey, are also expected to rise by up to 4% this year.