By AP Business Writer
updated 7/18/2006 11:13:27 AM ET 2006-07-18T15:13:27

The Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest beverage maker, reported a 7 percent increase Tuesday in second-quarter profit on a modest rise in sales. The results beat Wall Street expectations.

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The Atlanta-based company said it earned $1.84 billion, or 78 cents a share, for the three months ending June 30, compared to a profit of $1.72 billion, or 72 cents a share, for the same period a year ago.

Excluding a net benefit of 4 cents a share primarily due to the sale of shares in an initial public offering of a Turkish bottler, Coke said it earned $1.73 billion, or 74 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of 72 cents a share in the quarter.

Revenue in the second-quarter rose 3 percent to $6.48 billion, compared to $6.31 billion recorded in the same period a year ago.

Companywide, unit case volume increased 4 percent in the second quarter.

The increase was led by growth in several markets, including China, Russia, Turkey and Argentina.

Coca-Cola also said it saw 2 percent unit case volume growth in North America and 7 percent in Latin America. Unit case volume increased 3 percent in the company's European Union segment, but revenue was down 12 percent there in the quarter, due to currency issues and a negative impact from structural changes in its business model in Spain.

Sales of carbonated beverages and water were solid overall at the company, as were sales of sports drinks, Coke said.

For the first six months of the year, Coca-Cola said it earned $2.94 billion, an 8 percent increase from the $2.73 billion recorded in the first half of last year. Six-month revenue rose 2 percent to $11.70 billion, compared to $11.52 billion recorded a year ago.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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