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Pepsi Bottler Varun Beverages Posts Q1 Profit Jump

BENGALURU/CHENNAI, May 2 (Reuters) - India-based Pepsi bottler Varun Beverages on Tuesday reported an about 69% jump in quarterly profit on price increases and steady demand, and said it would split each of its existing shares into two.

The company reported a consolidated net profit of 4.29 billion rupees ($52.46 million) for the first quarter ended March 31, compared to 2.54 billion rupees a year earlier.

Gurugram-based Varun Beverages, which is PepsiCo's No.2 franchisee outside the United States, packages and distributes beverages under the Pepsi, Mirinda and Tropicana labels.

Consolidated revenue from operations at the seller of Aquafina packaged bottled water climbed nearly 38% to 39.53 billion rupees on select price increases and "robust volume growth," the company said in an exchange filing.

Demand for cold drinks has risen in recent months as India recorded its hottest February on record and sales at restaurants and bars improved amid a broader post-pandemic recovery.

Varun Beverages approved a share split of its existing shares in a ratio of 1:2 to boost its liquidity and make its stock "more attractive" to small investors.

"The board recommended the split of existing equity shares of the company from one equity share having a face value of 10 rupees each into two equity shares having face value of 5 rupees each," Chairman Ravi Jaipuria said in a statement.

Shares have increased more than 11-fold since their debut on the stock market in 2016, and hit a record high earlier in the session.

The stock was last up marginally at 1,450 rupees and up about 10% so far this year.

($1 = 81.7700 Indian rupees)

Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru and Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai; editing by Eileen Soreng

Source: Reuters

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