Page last updated at 21:25 GMT, Tuesday, 20 April 2010 22:25 UK

Coca-Cola sees profits rise 20%

Coke bottles
Shares in Coca-Cola fell when the US market opened

Drinks giant Coca-Cola has reported a 20% rise in first-quarter profits, but its results were weaker than analysts had forecast.

The company made a net profit of $1.61bn (£1.05bn) while revenue for the three months rose 5% to $7.53bn.

Coca-Cola is preparing to acquire the North American operations of its largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

It expects the move to help it cut costs and give it more flexibility in distributing its drinks.

Pepsi recently agreed a similar deal.

Sales mixed

Sales by volume rose 3%, led by Eurasia and Africa where volumes were up 11%.

However, volumes fell 2% in North America and were flat in Europe.

Although North America is the world's biggest soft drink market, people have been cutting back on their purchases because of the recession.

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