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The Pepsi Bottling Group has posted a healthy lift in second quarter profits thanks to price rises in the three-month period.

The company, which operates in the US, Canada, Greece, Mexico, Russia, Spain and Turkey, said today (8 July) that net profit for the three months to 14 June rose by 12% year-on-year to US$174m. The increase came on the back of a 5% rise in sales in value terms to $3.52bn in the period, despite a 3% dip in sales volumes.

Operating profit was also up, at $350m from $338m.

While net revenue per case growth increased by 8%, led by "robust" growth in Europe and Mexico, net revenue per case improved 5% in the US and Canada segment due primarily to rate increases.

For the first half of the fiscal year, PBG's net profit inched up to $202m from $191m, with sales up to $6.17bn from $5.83bn a year earlier. Operating profit was flat at $458m.

"PBG continues to meet its financial objectives, as a combination of superior operating capabilities and strong international growth offset widespread macroeconomic softness in the US" said Eric Foss, PBG's president and CEO. "Our focus for the balance of 2008 is to execute our strategy in each of our three geographic segments. This means taking appropriate actions to improve profitability in the US and Canada, building on our recent improvements in Mexico, and maximising the potential of our European growth markets."

Looking forward, the company said it expects to achieve top-line growth of about 5% to 6% in 2008. PBG's comparable operating profit is expected to grow in the low-single digits for the year.


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