PURCHASE, NEW YORK - PepsiCo shares hit a record high on Thursday after publication of forecast-beating second quarter results that drove home the group's rapid global expansion and diversification beyond soft drinks.

Emerging markets such as Turkey and Russia and surging sales of non-carbonated beverages helped PepsiCo shrug off soaring commodity prices and a decline in its flagship cola.

Sales were up 12% to $8.6 billion (€6.80bn; £4.68bn), while net earnings increased 14% to $1.36bn - beyond the top end of analysts' expectations.

The company expressed "confidence" about the rest of 2006 and increased full-year earnings guidance, in spite of pressure on margins from high commodity costs.