Coca Cola has announced better than expected results for the fourth quarter after the soft drinks giant announced profits for the past three months of $995m. But the iconic drinks company said it would be accelerating planned cuts designed to save up to $500m a year in costs.

The profits figure represents a drop of 18% on the $1.21bn raked in during the equivalent period last year. However, the news will be regarded as a boost to the company as analysts had predicted a more substantial fall-off in performance in the wake of factors including the strength of the dollar.

Global case volumes, meanwhile, were up by 4%, although total sales for the period fell 3% from last year’s $7.33bn to $7.13bn.

The company also confirmed that it would be speeding up plans to save $500m a year in costs by 2011.

“We are not content to ride out the storm,” said chief executive Muhtar Kent. “We will leverage it as an opportunity to further build the equity of our brand and drive value for our system and customers.”