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April 15, 2021updated 16 Jun 2021 2:17pm

PepsiCo Q1 fails to outpace 2020 as North America beverage sales edge up 2% – results

Sales growth for PepsiCo's North American beverage unit slowed in Q1 compared to the final quarter of last year, but remained in line with 2020's full-year performance.

By Andy Morton

  • Q1 PepsiCo Beverages North America sales up 2% to US$5.07bn
  • Global beverage volumes also climb 2%
  • 2021 sales target growth of mid-single digits

Sales growth for PepsiCo’s North American beverage unit slowed in Q1 compared to the final quarter of last year, but remained in line with 2020’s full-year performance.

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Beverage sales in the region were up 2% in the 12 weeks to 20 March, PepsiCo said today. The increase came despite a 3% dip in quarterly volumes.

In Q4 last year, PepsiCo’s North American drinks sales rose by 6% to round out a challenging year for the division as the coronavirus impacted the region’s out-of-home channel. The final-quarter boost helped PepsiCo’s full-year sales for its North American beverage unit edge up by 2% over 2019, outpacing rival The Coca-Cola Co, which was hampered in 2020 by a relatively larger exposure to out-of-home.

PepsiCo, which operates in both drinks and snacks, only publishes separate regional sales figures for beverages in North America. The group does release beverage volume figures for all of its regions, which in Q1 revealed an overall global lift of 2%. Global drinks volumes in 2020 came in flat.

Commenting on North America, group CEO Ramon Laguarta said the region “remained resilient” over the three months in the face of restrictions and closures related to the pandemic. He added that international operations also held up well.

PepsiCo’s total sales for Q1, including snacks and beverages, were up 7%.

“Both our global snacks and beverage businesses have performed well even as consumers gradually return to pre-pandemic activities and behaviours,” Laguarta said.

Looking ahead, the company has set a full-year sales growth target in the mid-single-digit region.

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