London — Drinks maker Coca-Cola reported higher third-quarter sales on Thursday, helped by volume growth in developing and emerging markets and a hot summer in southern Europe.

The company, which sells Coca-Cola drinks in 28 countries, mostly in Europe, reported that sales grew 5% in the quarter. Volume rose 3.4%. On a currency-neutral basis, total group revenue grew 6% in the period.

The company said currency-neutral revenue per unit case was up 2.5%, helped by an ongoing roll-out of revenue growth initiatives, along with price increases.

Volume in emerging markets — which include Romania, Serbia and Ukraine — increased by 3.5%, while volume in developing markets — including Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary — rose by 5.1%, the company said.

Established markets volume grew by 2.2% in the quarter, benefiting from a good tourist season and exceptionally warm summer weather in Italy and Greece.

"We are very pleased with the strong revenue delivery in the quarter, balanced between broad-based volume growth and substantial price/mix improvement," acting CEO Michalis Imellos said in a statement.

The company suddenly lost its CEO last month, when Dimitris Lois died, only weeks after the company announced he would take a temporary leave of absence for medical treatment.

Coca-Cola said it has a succession plan for the CEO position and a "thorough" process is under way. The company had been seen as a possible bidder for Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, a business being sold by Coca-Cola.