(Corrects adjusted profit to $1.44 per share from $1.50 in paragraph 7 and 2nd bullet)
* 2nd-qtr N. America beverage sales up 2 pct, volumes flat
* Adj. profit of $1.44/shr vs. est. $1.40/shr
* N. America beverage pricing up 1 pct, Frito-Lay up 3 pct
July 11 (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc’s quarterly profit beat estimates as higher pricing of sodas and snack foods in North America paid off and as the company sold its minority stake in British bottler Britvic Plc.
PepsiCo said on Tuesday that sales in its North America beverage unit, the company’s largest, rose 2 percent to $5.24 billion in the second quarter ended June 17. While volume sales were flat, net pricing was up 1 percent.
PepsiCo and rival Coca-Cola Co have focused on selling smaller, higher-margin packs in developed markets while pulling back on promoting large discount packs as they look to cushion the impact of falling demand for fizzy drinks.
Revenue from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America business rose 3 percent, helped by a 1 percent rise in volume and a 3 percent rise in net pricing.
The company said in May it would sell its 4.5 percent stake in British bottler Britvic for an undisclosed amount.
Net income attributable to PepsiCo rose to $2.11 billion, or $1.46 per share, from $2.01 billion, or $1.38 per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 2.1 percent to $15.71 billion.
Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.40 per share on revenue of $15.60 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
However, gross margins fell 50 basis points in the quarter, compared with a 115 basis points expansion in the year-earlier quarter.
The company had said in April it expected margins to remain under pressure in the second quarter as it passes on higher commodity prices to consumers.
PepsiCo raised its adjusted profit forecast for 2017 to $5.13 per share from $5.09, citing lower impact from unfavorable foreign exchange.
PepsiCo’s shares were little changed in premarket trading on Tuesday. (Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D’Couto)