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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 April, 2004, 12:52 GMT 13:52 UK
Bubbly Coke beats profit forecast
Coca-Cola can
Profits at Coca-Cola, the world's largest maker of soft drinks, have beaten analysts' forecasts, helped by rising sales in Europe and China.

First-quarter profit jumped 35% to $1.1bn (638m) from $835m a year earlier. Sales increased to $5bn from $4.5bn.

Case turnover increased by a 9%, with the US seeing a rise of 2% and China gaining 14%. Argentina also performed well, despite its economic woes.

Coca-Cola has been battling fierce competition from PepsiCo among others.

New lines

The company has tried to boost sales of products such as its Powerade sports drink and Dasani bottled water.

It also has introduced newer versions of its more established brands such as Diet Coke flavoured with a twist of Lime.

The company also is planning to release C2, a drink with half the sugar, carbohydrates and calories of the original product.

The strategy has had mixed results, with Coca-Cola recently deciding to withdraw Dasani from the UK market following a health scare.

The filtered tap water has been better received outside Britain, however, and was one of the best performing drinks in Europe and the US.

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