Coca-Cola Bottling Co Consolidated, a North Carolina-based independent Coca-Cola bottler that produces, markets and distributes non-alcoholic beverages, has reported net sales of $419.9m for the third quarter (Q3) of 2012, compared to net sales of $405.9m for the same period last year.

Consolidated net income increased from $9.77m in third quarter of 2011 to $10.08m in the latest quarter.

On comparable basis, the company’s net income was down to $9.8m in the third quarter of 2012 from $10m in the comparable period previous year.

The 2012 third quarter results also included $0.6m of after-tax gains due to mark-to-market adjustments on aluminum hedges and a $0.4m increase in income tax expense due to recording a valuation allowance for certain deferred tax assets.

Coca-Cola Bottling chairman and CEO Frank Harrison said the company was pleased to report growth both in their revenue and gross margin during the third quarter and year-to-date 2012 results.

"The revenue growth was driven by a slight volume increase, primarily in our still beverage portfolio, and modest price increases," reported Harrison.

"Our gross margin growth was attributable to both higher pricing and lower than expected increases in our raw material costs. We continue to focus our efforts on innovation, process improvements and efficiency in our operations to continue to be able to grow revenue and gross margin."

Coca-Cola Bottling president and COO Henry Flint said the company was happy to see both volume and price increase in the quarter in spite of the competitive environment.

"On a comparable basis, our net income and earnings per share were down from the prior year due to higher S, D&A costs," Flint added.

"Our increased S, D&A costs related primarily to higher wages and related benefits costs, increased marketing spending to support our brands, and investments in technology to help drive continued operational improvement and efficiency."