The world's leading soft drink group The Coca-Cola Company has seen earnings of US$1.22 billion, or 50 cents a share, for the third quarter, an increase of 12% on last year as worldwide volumes improved.

Revenue reached US$5.66 billion, a 6% improvement from US$5.32 billion a year ago.

Reported earnings per share for the first nine months were US$1.39, as compared with US$0.85 in the same period of the prior year. Worldwide unit case volume for the first nine months increased 4%, led by 5% growth in international operations and 2% growth in North America.

Doug Daft, chairman and chief executive officer, said: "We continue to improve our share position in many key markets around the world. Our priorities for increasing profitable growth are clear: build our brands through excellent marketing; improve the operational effectiveness of our entire system; and relentless cost management."

The strong performance was partially offset by weak beverage industry trends in both Japan and India, the company said.

During the third quarter, unit case volumes were driven by 3% growth in carbonated beverages and 9% growth in non-carbonated beverages.