Coca-Cola Amatil has upped its profit forecast for the second half of this year.

The Australia-based company, which also announced the acquisition of a premium brewer in the country this week, said today (5 December) that it expects net operating profit growth for both its H2 and full-year to come in between 10% and 11%. This replaces the previous estimate of high single-digit earnings growth.

"The first half trading momentum, which delivered first half growth in EBIT of 13.3% and 10.7% growth in net operating profit after tax and before significant items, has continued in the second half of 2007," CCA said. "The key priority for CCA in the second half has been the continued recovery of commodity driven cost of goods increases through a number of revenue management initiatives."

Company managing director Terry Davis highlighted "the continued strong performance" of the Coca-Cola and Powerade brands in Australia in the second half. Coke Zero has also sold well in New Zealand and Fiji, Davis noted, while, in Papua New Guinea, the launch of energy drink 'Bu' in the period delivered "very strong" revenue and earnings growth.

Looking forward, CCA recognised that the continued high prices for aluminium and PET resin would continue to impact the company's cost base both in the second half and in 2008.

Seperately, CCA said today that it will launch a A$170m (US$147.6m) off-market share buy-back. The move is "the most effective method to return capital to shareholders", the company concluded.

Through its joint venture with SABMiller in Australia, Pacific Beverages, CCA today acquired Bluetongue brewery in the country, for an undisclosed sum.