Coca-Cola FEMSA has seen its third quarter steady the ship after a worrying first half of the year.

The company, the world's second largest Coke bottler, said today (27 October) that net income for the three-month period to 30 September leapt by 44% year-on-year, coming in at MXN1.7bn (US$158.8m). The healthy jump brought net income for the first nine months of the year in-line, rising by 0.9% on the same period in 2005 to MXN3.3bn.

Sales for the quarter were up by 8.6% to MXN14.3bn, and for the nine-month period by 6.7% to MXN41.7bn.

"In the third quarter, out multi-segmentation strategy continued to deliver strong top-line growth, letting us gain share of revenues within the beverage industry in almost all of our territories despite the competitive environment in some of our markets," said company CEO Carlos Salázar.

The company credited strong performances in the Mexican and Brazilian markets for the growth.

Earlier this year, Coke FEMSA saw net income slump for the first six months by over 21% to MXN1.6bn, as the weakness of the peso against the dollar made its presence felt.

Coke FEMSA has hit the headlines this week as demonstrators in Venezuela blockaded bottling and distribution plants around the country.

Former delivery contractors seized control of the company's three plants, a number of distribution centres and its head office in Venezuela in a row over distribution agreements.

The protestors have since voluntarily ceased their protests, and Coke FEMSA said it does not expect the disruption to materially affect future financial results.