PepsiCo announced double-digit operating profit gains across all its businesses in the last quarter, the US snacks and soft drinks group said on Monday.


Boosted by improved sales figures from its Frito-Lay snacks division, net income rose 15% to  US$567m. Earnings per share for the quarter also increased 15%, to 38 cents, on an 8% growth in sales to US$6.1bn. PepsiCo forecast double-digit earnings growth for 2001 in line with figures released yesterday.


“2000 was Pepsi’s best [year] in recent memory, and the strongest I’ve seen in my 16 years with the company,” said Steve Reinemund, chief operating officer. “Our outlook is simple. More of the same.”


PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay snack unit continues to drive the business, accounting for more than 60% of sales. Internationally, Frito-Lay increased operating profits by 11% on 10% sales growth boosted by volume growth from the Sabritas and Walkers brands.


The group said international snacks remained “one of PepsiCo’s key growth engines,”, and said it saw further opportunities to improve scale and market share through acquisitions and other transactions.,


The acquisition of Quaker Oats is likely to boost sales figures this year. The purchase will add granola bars and rice cakes to PepsiCo’s snack box giving a much healthier feel to the product range and broadening its consumer base.