Coca-Cola brand proves resilient to recession

Coca-Cola brand proves resilient to recession

Soft drinks bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA has reported strong rises in earnings and sales for 2009.

Net sales rose by 24% to MXN102.7bn (US$7.9bn) for the 12 months to the end of December, compared to MXN82.9bn in 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA said today (12 February).

Net profits leapt by 52% to MXN8.5bn, boosted by a near four-fold increase in the fourth quarter. Operating profits rose by 15.6% to MXN15.8bn for the year, against MXN5.6bn in 2008, while volumes rose 8%.

Strong results for the bottler boosted the performance of parent firm Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA), which also reported full-year figures today.

Double-digit sales rises in every business division, as well as more favourable curreny rates and the acquisition of the Brisa water business in Colombia, were the main growth drivers in 2009, said Coca-Cola FEMSA.

The Mercosur and Latincentro divisions drove 90% of operating profits growth for the year, it said.

"The Company grew organically through our defensive portfolio of products as exemplified by the solid performance of the Coca-Cola brand, and our new lines of business, such as ValleFrut in the orangeade category; proving to
be counter-cyclical to the prevailing economic conditions," said group CEO Carlos Salazar Lomelin.

"We enter 2010 with a renewed spirit of optimism," he said.

Fourth quarter volume sales rose by 8%, with value sales for the three months up by nearly 28% to MXN29bn.

To view the results announcement, click here.

An update will appear here, following the group's conference call.