Compania Cervecerias Unidas has reported a strong start to 2007.

The Chilean drinks company, which also operates in neighbouring Argentina, said yesterday (26 April) that net profit for the first three months of this year leapt by 21.4% year-on-year, hitting CLP25.4bn (US48.3m). Revenues for the quarter were up 11.7% to CLP159.8bn. The company credited higher consolidated volumes of 8% and increased average prices of 3.4% for the strong performance.

The company said it was "very pleased with the results", with the Chilean and Argentinean beer markets both performing strongly in the period. The soft drinks, nectar and mineral water segment, meanwhile, grew its revenues 10.3% and its operating results 33.8%, thanks in part to the launch of Kem Slice and SoBe Adrenaline Rush in the period.

The wine business also had a positive performance during the quarter, improving its operating results by CLP1.26bn, mainly due to lower raw material costs and as a result of a rationalisation plan that Viña San Pedro undertook in order to adapt to new market conditions.

Finally, the local pisco business brought in a 203% leap in operating income, thanks to "the higher mix of premium products and cocktails", CCU noted.