PBG upbeat on performance

PBG upbeat on performance

Pepsi Bottling Group, the soft drinks bottler, has reported full-year profits ahead of guidance, despite a slip in sales.

Net profits for the 12 months to the end of December 2009 more than tripled to US$612m, Pepsi Bottling Group said today (2 February).

The figure follows profits of $162m in 2008, when more than $400m in one-off impairment charges damaged earnings and saw the bottler slip to a loss in the fourth quarter. It swung back to profits of $90m in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The better-than-anticipated profits performance came despite a 1% fall in like-for-like net sales for the year, to $13.2bn. Including currency fluctuations, sales fell 4%.

Volume sales fell by 3% for the year, reflecting 2% falls in the US and Canada, 4% in Mexico and 8% in Europe.

Operating income was flat against 2008 on a currency neutral basis, said PBG, which added that it also achieved a better-than-expected $350m in cost savings during 2009.

PBG and fellow bottler PepsiAmericas are to be wholly owned by PepsiCo in a deal worth $7.8bn. PBG chairman and CEO Eric Foss welcomed today's results and added: "I remain very optimistic about the future of the Pepsi system."

To view PBG's share price movement, click here.

For the full announcement, click here.

An update, following the group's conference call, will appear on just-drinks later.