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UPDATE 1-PepsiCo profit beats on demand for healthier snacks, drinks

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April 26 PepsiCo Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit as the company benefited from demand for its healthier drinks and snacks and kept a tight leash on costs.

PepsiCo and other processed-food makers are investing heavily to develop products to meet consumers' increasing preference for healthier snacks such as unsweetened tea and baked chips.

The company has said it now gets about 45 percent of its net revenue from "guilt-free" products - beverages that have fewer than 70 calories per 12 ounces and snacks that have lower amounts of salt and saturated fat.

Revenue from its North America beverage business, the company's biggest, rose 2.3 percent to $4.46 billion in the first quarter ended March 25.

Net income attributable to PepsiCo rose to $1.32 billion, or 91 cents per share, in the quarter, from $931 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

The year-earlier period included a $373 million charge related to its transaction with Tingyi (Cayman Islands) Holding Corp.

Excluding items, the company earned 94 cents per share.

Revenue rose 1.6 percent to $12.05 billion, the second quarter of rising sales after eight quarters of decline.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 92 cents per share on revenue of $11.98 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Rival Coca-Cola on Tuesday reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on higher costs of franchising its bottling operations and announced job cuts to boost savings.

(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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