The board of US soft drinks giant PepsiCo has authorised plans to increase cash returns to shareholders, raising the company's annual dividend and giving the green light to a share repurchase.

The US$15bn share buyback of common stock will be made between now and June 2013. The Pepsi producer anticipates repurchasing approximately $4.4bn in 2010.

The company has also raised its annual dividend by 7% from $1.80 to $1.92 per share.

“The board's action reflects continued confidence in the growth of our business and our commitment to providing strong cash returns to our shareholders,” PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said.