• Beer, spirits, soft drinks drive Q3 sales
  • Net profits slip
  • Operating profits up 10%
Compania Cervecerias Unidas upbeat on Q3

Compania Cervecerias Unidas upbeat on Q3

The Chilean drinks giant part-owned by Heineken, Compania Cervecerias Unidas, has reported a strong rise in sales but a dip in net earnings for the third quarter of 2010.

Strong demand for beer in Chile and Argentina, as well as double-digit gains in spirits and soft drinks sales, propelled Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU) to an 11% rise in net sales for the three months to the end of September. Sales reached CLP193bn (US$395m), CCU said yesterday (3 November).

Operating profits rose by nearly 10% on the same period of last year, to CLP29.3bn. However, net profits slipped by 10.1% on the third quarter of 2009 to CLP23bn.

"We are pleased with CCU’s third quarter volumes," said the group, which is 33%-owned by Heineken. "The consolidated volumes grew 8.7% to 3.8m hectolitres, with the contribution of practically all segments," it said.

A combination of stronger consumer demand and higher prices saw CCU's beer sales in Argentina rise by 21% to CLP31.6bn. Beer sales in Chile rose by 8% to CLP61bn for the quarter. In other sectors, spirits sales rose by 16.5%, soft drinks sales increased by 14.4% and wine sales were up by 2%.

All sectors have shown growth so far in 2010. For the nine months to the end of September, CCU's total net sales rose by 8% to CLP587.5bn. However, net profits for the nine months fell by 23% to CLP81bn.

CCU said profits in 2009 were boosted by one-off gains, while the firm has also faced higher interest charges in 2010, as well as extra costs related to the earthquake in Chile earlier in the year.

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