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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 15:07 GMT 16:07 UK
Coke's sales flat but profits up
Coca-Cola with lemon was introduced in 2001
Consumers are opting for less sugary options
Coca-Cola, the world's largest drinks company, has seen flat sales for the first quarter but its profits are up.

While first quarter profits rose by 10% to $1.1b (614m) due to higher pricing, sales remained flat despite greater product variety.

Sales were flat at $5.2bn, missing Wall Street expectations of $5.3bn.

Meanwhile the number of cases sold has increased led by continued growth in growth in certain key markets, such as China, India, Brazil and Turkey.

Non-carbonated drinks saw the biggest growth in unit terms, increasing by 11% while carbonated drinks saw a 3% rise.

It is becoming increasingly hard for drinks companies to sell sugary fizzy drinks. as opposed to healthier and lower-calorie options such as fruit juices or water.

Last year soft drinks volumes dropped for the first time in twenty years, according to newsletter Beverage Digest

Shares in Coca-Cola rose slightly to $41.58, an increase of 0.28% in early trading in New York.

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