PepsiAmericas Inc., the second largest bottler and distributor of Pepsi-branded drinks, has said it expects its 2002 earnings to be at the lower end of its expectations as the result of poorer-than-anticipated US volumes.

This further warning follows an earlier cut in its earnings forecast. In December, the bottler reduced its earnings forecast for 2002 to between $1 and $1.02 per share to between 90 cents and 93 cents, excluding a charge. Analysts' average forecasts for the company's earnings are now at around 91 cents.

The company has also scaled down its forecast for 2003. PepsiAmericas said it expects worldwide volume growth of between 2% and 3% for 2003, net price increases of between 2.5% and 3.5% and earnings-per-share growth of between 9% and 11%.

Analysts polled by First Call are forecasting an average of around $1.02 per share, representing 12% growth on the current average forecast for 2002.