Soft drinks group, PepsiAmericas Inc., the second largest bottler of Pepsi brands, reported depressed fourth quarter earnings, attributing the disappointing performance to sluggish sales in the US.

Net income for the fourth quarter came in at $7.3m, against a loss of $62m in the corresponding period last year but earnings per share of five cents were three cents below the average forecast according to a Thomson First Call survey.

Earnings per share for the quarter were also at the lowest end of the range forecast by PepsiAmericas itself last month, when it revised its earnings forecast for the quarter from between 18 cents and 20 cents to between five cents and eight cents.

PepsiAmericas said that the poor performance in the US had overshadowed a strong showing in Central Europe and the Caribbean. Operating income in the quarter decreased from $41.2m to $31.3m. Worldwide sales were 0.4% higher at $757.9m.