US soft drinks giant Coca-Cola said Tuesday that profits rose 18 percent in the second quarter, better than expected, on solid volume growth worldwide. Income was $2.8 billion, up from $2.4 billion in the year-earlier quarter, and earnings per share was up 18 percent as well to $1.20. For the six-month period to June, income and earnings per share were also up 18 percent from a year ago. Revenue growth was strongest in North America, up 141 percent, due to contributions from the North American bottling business of Coca-Cola Enterprises which the company acquired late last year. Aside from that, revenues and operating income grew strongest, both 21 percent, in the company\'s Pacific group, which includes the region from China and South Korea south to Australia and New Zealand. Coca-Cola bottles and distributes a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks, including sports and energy drinks, juices, soft drinks including Fanta and Sprite, bottled water and bottled and canned coffee and tea. Sales volume for Coke itself rose 24 percent in China and 17 percent in Russia, and made good gains in other key markets including Mexico, France and Germany, the company said. \"Even as consumers around the world continue to feel the impact of a slow economic recovery, they increasingly choose our brands to refresh themselves at a rate of over 1.7 billion servings each and every day,\" chief executive Muhtar Kent said in a statement.