At Cadbury Schweppes AGM this week, John Sunderland, chief executive officer, confirmed the company's confidence in achieving its targets for the full year.

Sunderland said: "The first four months trading of 2002 have been satisfactory and we remain confident of achieving our financial targets for the full year.

"North American beverage volumes rose 6% during the first quarter of 2002, or 2% net of acquisitions. Our non-carbonated soft drinks portfolio overall continued to grow strongly. Brand transfers and refranchising in our carbonated soft drinks (CSD) business led to some softness; excluding this impact, CSD volumes were slightly ahead during the quarter.

"Confectionery volume growth has been encouraging in the majority of our markets. In the UK, Cadbury Trebor Bassett had a good start to the year, continuing the stronger performance seen toward the end of 2001.

In conclusion, Sunderland said: "In addition to a sound start to 2002, we have also made a number of acquisitions designed to further strengthen our business. These include a 51% interest in Kent, Turkey's leading sugar confectionery manufacturer, the Squirt brand in Mexico and Nantucket Nectars in the US."