US snacks and soft drinks giant PepsiCo has posted a 30% rise in quarterly net income, helped by solid growth in its snacks business.

The company reported net income of US$897m, or 51 cents per share, for the fourth quarter to 27 December, compared to $689m, or 39 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Fourth-quarter net revenue rose to $8.07bn from $7.38bn a year earlier.

For the full year, PepsiCo posted net income of $3.49bn, or $2.01 per share, compared to $2.95bn, or $1.66 per share, in the previous year. Net revenue rose to $26.97bn from $25.11bn in the previous year.

PepsiCo said a reduction in costs relating to the Quaker merger contributed to the earnings per share increase for the quarter and the full year.

A restructuring charge of $147m was taken in the fourth quarter to strengthen the business by streamlining operations across both North American divisions and PepsiCo International , the company said.

“2003 was an outstanding year for PepsiCo – and 2004 looks to have the same potential,” said CEO Steve Reinemund.

“Our health and wellness brands are growing, as are our Fun-For-You businesses. We’ve achieved solid growth rates in snacks and beverages, both in our North American and in our International operations. Overall, our top-line and bottom-line growth rates are strong, as are our short-term and long-term growth prospects,” Reinemund said.

PepsiCo said it is targeting 2004 earnings per share in the range of $2.24 to $2.28.