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Coke reports revenue growth for the first time in 9 quarters

Coca-Cola (KO) has reported a rise in revenue for the first time in nine quarters, helped by a 6% rise in North America, its biggest market.

The rise in revenue, along with a better-than-expected profit, pushed up shares of the world’s largest beverage maker higher Wednesday.

Net operating revenue from North America rose to $5.10 billion in the first quarter ended April 3, and accounted for 47.6% of total revenue.

Organic revenue in the region increased 10%, helped by higher concentrate sales and pricing.

Sales in North America increased in the fourth quarter for the first time in four quarters.

U.S. sales of carbonated soft drinks have been declining for nearly a decade, and more recently consumers have shifted away from diet soda because of health concerns about artificial sweeteners.

Coke has tried to diversify its business by taking a smaller stake in companies in faster-growing markets and in some cases, eventually acquiring them. Coca-Cola said in August it would buy a 16.7% stake in Monster Beverage.

It also bought a 10% stake in Keurig Green Mountain Inc in February last year, which it later raised to 16% to become Keurig’s largest shareholder.

Net income attributable to Coca-Cola’s shareholders fell to $1.56 billion, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter, from $1.62 billion, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned 48 cents per share.

Net operating revenue rose 1.3% to $10.71 billion.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 42 cents per share on revenue of $10.66 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.