The US-based soft drinks bottler, PepsiAmericas Inc., has posted increased second-quarter profits but total volumes in the quarter were down by 1.5%.

The company, the second largest bottler of Pepsi brands in the world, posted earnings of US$53.2m, or 37 cents share, for the second quarter, up by 9% from US$48.8m, or 32 cents a share, in the corresponding quarter last year. Turnover for the quarter fell from US$877.3m to US$870.9m.

While overall volumes were down by 1.5%, volumes in the US fell by 3.5%, with the company citing the unseasonal weather in the spring as the prime factor behind the drop.

"Continuing soft volume trends in the second quarter, although improved sequentially over the first quarter, were offset by strong pricing and lower operating costs," said PepsiAmericas chairman and CEO, Robert Pohlad.

The second-quarter results were within the range of 32 cents to 38 cents forecast by analysts in an earlier Reuters poll and ahead of the average forecast in that poll of 35 cents a share.

PepsiAmericas has forecast EPS growth of between 9% and 11% for the full 2003 fiscal year but is also expecting a low single-digit drop in US volumes for the year.