Pepsi seeks to restore N. America drinks growth

NEW YORK, March 22 (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc PEP.N said on Monday that a key priority moving forward is to restore its North American beverage business to sustainable, profitable growth, starting this year.

Indra Nooyi, chief executive of the maker of Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay snacks and Gatorade sports drink, laid out her vision for growth at a two-day investor meeting in New York.

On a worldwide level, Nooyi said PepsiCo is targeting mid-single-digit revenue growth and mid-to-high single-digit operating profit growth in its beverage business.

Regarding higher-growth emerging markets, Nooyi said Pepsi plans to invest aggressively to reach leadership or competitive parity.

Nooyi also said PepsiCo still expects earnings per share to grow 11 percent to 13 percent on a core constant currency basis for 2010. It continues to target low double-digit growth for 2011 and 2012.

Nooyi also said a key goal is to build and expand its snack business.

On the soft drink side, Pepsi is the world's No. 2 player behind Coca-Cola Co KO.N, but it is a leader in the snack business. (Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)