Higher drinks prices lifted net earnings and sales for PepsiAmericas in its third quarter, the soft drinks bottler has said.

Net income rose to US$73m for the three months ended 30 September, up from $71m during the same period last year, PepsiAmericas announced today (22 October).

Revenue increased by 12% to $1.3bn, as price rises and international growth offset a volume decline in North America during the quarter. The results were in-line with expectations, the group said.

The bottler's performance compares favourably to that of parent firm PepsiCo, which last week reported a fall in third quarter net earnings, to $1.58bn, down from $1.74bn during the same period last year.

Prices rose 3% on average in the quarter, predominantly to offset raw material costs, PepsiAmericas said. It added that net sales in the US increased 1% to $882.7m, as pricing offset a 2.4% decline in volumes.

"The decline in volume was primarily driven by non-carbonated beverages with declines in the lower margin Aquafina take-home package as well as trademark Lipton," the firm said.

Last week, PepsiCo highlighted a consumer shift from bottled water to tap water, a trend the group blamed on the current economic downturn.

PepsiAmericas' carbonated drinks volumes fell 1% in the US during the third quarter, representing an improvement on the first half of the year.

Eastern Europe, and especially Poland and Romania, made up for problems in the group's North American business. Net sales in the firm's Central and Eastern Europe division rose 61% to $382.4m for the quarter, partially reflecting an 18% average drinks price rise. Volumes in the region grew by 38%.