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NEW YORK: Price hikes helped Coca-Cola score higher quarterly earnings Thursday as the soda giant also cited an uptick in sales at North American restaurants, entertainment and sports venues while Covid-19 restrictions eased.

But Coca-Cola -- along with rival PepsiCo -- said rising costs could prove to be a headwind in 2022 even as both companies projected another year of organic sales growth.

Pepsi expects "commodity, transportation and labor costs inflation to persist," executives said in a statement. "We plan to mitigate the impact of these pressures with our revenue management capability and productivity initiatives."

Coca-Cola profits of $2.4 billion were up 66 percent from the fourth quarter of 2020 on a 10 percent rise in revenues to $9.5 billion.

Coca-Cola reported volume increases across its products, including sodas, juice and plant-based beverages, and sports drinks.

North American sales were boosted by a recovery in the fountain business with more consumers going out.

PepsiCo raises profit forecast as soda demand jumps, plans price increases

Results were pinched somewhat by an increase in marketing costs during the quarter. But higher pricing in three of four regions helped offset that impact.

The fourth-quarter performance of higher profit and sales "was driven by ongoing asynchronous recovery in many markets and the company's ability to better adapt to successive waves of the pandemic," Coca-Cola said.

The soda giant expects commodity price inflation to be in the "mid single-digit percentage" range in 2022.

Pepsi reported a 28 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits to $1.3 billion on a 12.4 percent rise in revenues to $25.2 billion.

As with Coca-Cola, Pepsi's results were lifted in most regions by price hikes that helped offset a drag from higher transportation and commodity costs.

Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston told CNBC the company is planning for "low double digit" cost inflation in 2022.

Shares of Coca-Cola rose 1.3 percent to $61.82 in pre-market trading, while Pepsi fell 1.3 percent to $169.75.

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