Minneapolis-based PepsiAmericas Inc., the second largest Pepsi bottler in the US, reported an 83% rise in first quarter profits. The company posted a profit of US$23.4m for the first quarter of 2002, against US$12.8m in the corresponding period a year earlier.

The first quarter results, founded on strong volume growth, were in line with analysts' forecasts. The company said it expects earnings growth for 2002 of between 7% and 10%.

Total sales at PepsiAmericas in the first quarter rose by 4.5% from $705.4m to $737m while volumes grew by 5.9%. Domestic volumes were 4.5% up while international volumes grew by 9.5%. International growth had come from Central Europe with softer sales in the company's Caribbean markets, the company said.