updated 4/19/2006 8:13:12 AM ET 2006-04-19T12:13:12

The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, reported a 10 percent increase Wednesday in first-quarter profit on flat revenue. The results beat Wall Street expectations.

The Atlanta-based company said it earned $1.11 billion, or 47 cents a share, for the three months ending March 31, compared to a profit of $1.00 billion, or 42 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Coke said it earned $1.16 billion, or 49 cents a share, in the three-month period. That was ahead of the 48 cents a share analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting it to earn in the quarter.

Revenue in the January-March period was $5.23 billion versus $5.21 billion a year ago.

"This quarter underscores that we are on track to deliver on our long-term growth targets," the company's chairman and chief executive, Neville Isdell, said.

Coke said unit case volume increased 5 percent companywide in the quarter, led by strong growth in China, Russia, and Turkey. The company said it also had a solid quarter in North America and Latin America. Offsetting these results were unit case volume declines in the Philippines, India and Africa.

The company was scheduled to hold its annual meeting of shareholders later Wednesday in Wilmington, Del.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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