Healthy RTD sales cheered US consumer goods giant Kraft Foods as the company posted falling annual profits yesterday (31 January).

Kraft, whose food business dwarfs its drinks stable, said its RTD sales in North America remained "strong" during the last three months of 2006.

The company, which sells a range of soft drinks in the US and Canada, said sales of better-for-you powdered beverages such as Crystal Light On-The-Go were "strong" during the fourth quarter. The company also praised the "strength" of its Capri Sun Roarin' Waters range.

Full-year sales from its beverage business in North America were up 1% to US$3bn, although earnings slumped 56% due to one-off items including a loss on the sale of a coffee manufacturing facility.

Group revenues inched up 0.7% to US$34.3bn during 2006 but operating income fell 4.8% to US$4.5bn.