Coca-Cola Co's second largest bottler in Mexico and Latin America, Embotelladoras Arca, has reported net sales up by nearly 19% in the first half of 2009.

Sales for the six months to the end of June rose to MXN11.4bn (US$859.7m), compared to MXN9.6bn for the same period of 2008, Arca said today (21 July). Volume sales rose by nearly 20% to 291m unit cases.

Net profits for the half-year fell by 9% on the previous year to MXN1.23bn.

The contribution of Argentina, together with exports of Topo Chico water to the US, helped to offset a 3% fall in volume sales in Mexico during the second quarter, the firm said.
Net sales rose by just 1.5% excluding sales in Argentina, it added.

Arca CEO Francisco Garza Egloff said: "After slightly more than one year since initiating operations in Argentina, we can affirm that our actions have resulted in significant improvements in operations, market share and sales volume growth, evidenced by the 13% increase in sales volume achieved during the second quarter of 2009."

He added: "In terms of our core business of beverages in Mexico, and in the face of a challenging economic environment, we have focused on optimising our operation and perfecting our market service, in order to strengthen our Company?s profitability."