PepsiCo has posted an impressive lift in earnings for the first quarter of this year.

The soft drinks giant was today (25 April) celebrating a 17% increase in earnings to US$1.1bn, or $0.65 per share, thanks to "broad-based" volume gains, expanding operating margins and balanced growth across developed and emerging markets.

While PepsiCo Beverages North America saw volumes rise by only 1%, CSDs in the region slid by 3% while non-carbonated volumes held up the tail. Aquafina, Propel and SoBe waters produced double-digit growth, as did the Lipton RTD tea brand. Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice experienced an expected mid-teens volume decline resulting from a significant price increase.

In the international arena, double-digit volume growth in Venezuela, Russia, Argentina and Brazil offset single-digit declines in Mexico and Thailand. While Latin America produced 8% volume growth, Europe, Middle East and Africa brought in 9%, with Asia Pacific producing 6%.

"We're pleased with our performance for the first quarter of 2007," said PepsiCo chairman elect and CEO Indra Nooyi. "The business portfolio performed exceedingly well, with each of our operating divisions showing strong results."

The company reaffirmed its full-year earnings guidance of at least $3.30 per share.