Pepsico Profits Jump

Snack food and soft drink maker Pepsico Inc. reported its second-quarter profits jumped 16 percent, boosted by volume gains across all of its divisions and the introduction of new products.

The maker of Pepsi soft drinks, Frito-Lay snack chips and Tropicana juices said net income was $652 million compared with $563 million a year earlier, the company reported. It marked Pepsi's seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit earnings growth.

The strong results were fueled by such new products as Mountain Dew Code Red and gourmet potato chip Lay's Bistro, which were both introduced earlier this year. Net sales jumped 7 percent to $5.28 billion from $4.93 billion a year earlier.

The company said it continues to talk with the Federal Trade Commission on its proposed acquisition of Chicago-based Quaker Oats Co. The merger has already been approved by shareholders of both companies and by antitrust authorities outside the United States, according to Reuters.

Its soft drink unit, Pepsi-Cola North America, the number-two U.S. soft drink maker behind
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co., posted a 3-percent increase in bottler case sales, boosted in part by the acquisition of the SoBe brand, the addition of new drinks such as Mountain Dew Code Red and Sierra Mist, and continued strength in the company's Aquafina bottled water brand.

The January acquisition of SoBe beverages added about 1 point of growth to bottler case sales, the report said. Net sales for Pepsi North America jumped 20 percent to $962 million, led by volume gains from SoBe and Dole juice products and higher concentrate pricing.

Sales at snack unit Frito-Lay North America, the company's largest unit in terms of sales, climbed 6 percent to $2.13 billion. Tropicana's operating profits rose 5 percent as it continued to gain market share across all of its regions. Sales at Tropicana climbed 6 percent to $584 million.
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