The North Carolina-based soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola Bottling Co. posted earnings for the second quarter of 2005 of US$11.5m, against US$10.6m in the second quarter of 2004.

The company said net income in the second quarter had been boosted by the impact of $3.7m after-tax, or US$.41 per share, in relation to the settlement of a class action lawsuit brought against producers of high fructose corn syrup, used in sweetening soft drinks.

Net sales rose by 7.2% to US$24.1m, reflecting a 1.5% increase in bottle and can volumes, a 2% increase in revenue per case and a 14% increase in contract sales to other bottlers. The company said the significant growth in contract sales was primarily due to the introduction of Coca-Cola's new energy drink, Full Throttle.