US soft drinks giant PepsiCo has reported a 16% increase in full-year profits, driven by healthy gains in its international beverage and worldwide snack businesses.

For the 12-month period to the end of December, the company earned US$5.95bn compared to $5.14bn in the prior year.

Sales were flat, at $43.23bn compared to revenue of $43.25bn in 2008.

PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi, said: “In 2009, strong execution of PepsiCo’s operational priorities enabled us to deliver healthy revenue and profit growth and generate strong cash flow, despite the macroeconomic challenges across much of the world. Our teams demonstrated their agility in balancing innovation and value, which enabled us to maintain consumer momentum while driving margin expansion. In addition, we continued to invest in R&D, infrastructure and innovation to sustain our long-term growth.”

For the year, PepsiCo International delivered double-digit gains in net revenue and core operating profit while making strategic investments in adjacent product categories and geographies and in infrastructure in key markets.

The division delivered a 17% increase in core operating profit on an 11% increase in net revenue.

Europe delivered “strong” full-year results in a “particularly difficult macroeconomic environment”, the firm said, growing net revenue 10% and core operating profit 13%. Volumes however, remained flat.

AMEA also delivered strong growth in 2009, with net revenue up 12% and core operating profit up 23%. Beverage volume grew 8% for the year led by 32% growth in India which gained overall share for the year.

PepsiCo said it anticipates 2010 earnings will rise 11% to 13% on a constant currency basis.

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