PepsiCo reported yesterday that costs arising from the US$14bn merger of PepsiCo with Quaker Oats depressed profits by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Pepsi#;s fourth quarter profits were 37 cents per share, or US$667m. Discounting the impact of merger costs, profits would have climbed 16% to 42 cents per share on a like-for-like basis. The company said products such as its bottle water brand, Aquafina, had fuelled the growth. Net sales rose to just under $8 billion compared with $7.57 billion last year.

Turnover for the year rose by 7% to around $27 billion, while total division operating profits were up by 11% to $4.8 billion and net income grew by 15% to $3 billion.

PepsiCo has also announced a number of personnel changes. Roger A. Enrico, 57, is to retire as vice chairman in March but will remain as a director until May 2003. Meanwhile, Charles I. Maniscalco, 48, is taking over from Susan D. Wellington, who is to take a leave of absence, as president of US Beverages at Quaker North America with responsibility for Gatorade.