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PepsiCo's profit beats expectations as sales rise

NEW YORK (AP) -- PepsiCo Inc. reported a first-quarter profit on Thursday that beat Wall Street expectations as price hikes helped lift sales.

The Purchase, N.Y., company, which makes Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Quaker Oats, stood by its full-year forecast for core profit growth, following a year in which it cut costs and spent more on marketing its biggest brands.

Global sales volume rose 4 percent for its snacks and 3 percent for its beverages during the period, fueled by strong growth in emerging markets. Emerging and developing markets now account for more than a third of the company's revenue.

In its beverage unit in the Americas, however, revenue was even as higher prices offset a drop in volume.

For the three months period ended March 23, PepsiCo Inc. earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share. That's down from $1.13 billion, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding the impact of Venezuela's currency devaluation and other items, however, it earned 77 cents per share. Analysts expected 70 cents, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $12.58 billion, beating analysts' prediction of $12.54 billion.

Not including the impact of refranchising its business in China and the impact from foreign exchange rates, the company said revenue rose 4.4 percent.