The Pepsi Bottling Group increased revenue by 2% in the third quarter, but blamed worsening economic conditions for a 6% drop in volume sales.

The group (PBG), PepsiCo's main bottling arm, said today (30 September) that net revenue rose 2.2% to reach US$3.8bn for the three months ended 6 September. Currency exchange rates contributed around 3% of growth to net revenue, it added.

Net profit fell to $231m, down from $260m for the same period last year, but the firm met its own earnings per share forecast.

Today's announcement brought more evidence that a tough economic climate is exerting growing pressure on the soft drinks sector.

PBG blamed a 6% volume decline in the US and Canada on "overall weakness in the liquid refreshment beverage category". It said global volumes, too, had fallen at a similar rate because of "soft economic conditions".

Net revenue for the first nine months of the year increased 4.5% to nearly $10bn, the group said. Net income was again lower, however, down to $433m from $451m the year before.

The firm raised its full-year earnings guidance slightly, from $2.30-$2.38 to $2.32-$2.38.