Coca-Cola, the soft drinks company, produced a 6 per cent rise in quarterly organic sales, helped by bottled water and lower sugar alternatives to the eponymous soft drink.

Shares in the Atlanta-based company, which has a market capitalisation of $198bn, rose 1.2 per cent in pre-market trading after the better than forecast third-quarter earnings.

James Quincey, chief executive, is accelerating efforts to diversify the company, which is still known for Coke and other soft drinks such as Sprite and Fanta. While the company has pushed into other products from sports drinks to tea, fizzy drinks still account for almost three-quarters of sales.

In recent months the company has struck a deal to buy Britain’s Costa Coffee chain for £3.9bn and even said it is examining the market for cannabis-related drinks.

In the third quarter, net revenues declined 9 per cent to $8.25bn as the company sold most of its remaining bottling plants around the world, returning to its roots developing and marketing drinks instead of distributing them.

On a like-for-like basis, revenues rose 6 per cent. Latin America led the way, up 19 per cent, while Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 9 per cent. North America was slower, up 2 per cent. Net income from continuing operations rose from $1.44bn to $2.32bn.

In a statement Mr Quincey said: “We continue to be encouraged by our performance year-to-date as we accelerate our evolution as an even more consumer-centric, total beverage company.”

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