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.