A lift in US soft drinks sales and lower commodity costs have led Pepsi Bottling Group to raise its full-year earnings guidance.

Earnings per share for the 12 months of 2009 are now expected to be in the range of US$2.3 to $2.4, up $0.1 from previous guidance, Pepsi Bottling Group said today (2 June).

The drinks bottler also raised earnings guidance for the second quarter of the year, by $0.05 to a range of $0.7 to $0.74.

Higher soft drinks sales, lower commodity costs and more stable exchange rates have contributed to the better-than-expected performance in the year so far, Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) said.

Chairman and CEO Eric Foss said: "PBG's strong start to the year has continued in the second quarter. Improving fundamentals in our US and Canada business, coupled with the success of our global pricing strategy, are producing solid results. We're also delivering significant cost and productivity savings and superior execution at the point of sale."

The group's free cash flow for 2009 is also expected to be $25m higher than previously thought, at $525m, said the bottler, which has continued to reject a takeover bid from parent firm PepsiCo

PBG last autumn announced a restructuring programme across its business, set to result in 3,000 job losses across Mexico, North America and Europe.