Chiles CCU increases Q1 sales

Chile's CCU increases Q1 sales

The earthquake that struck Chile earlier this year has damaged first quarter profits for domestic drinks group Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU).

Net profits for the three months to the end of March fell by 22% to CHP35.9bn (US$66.7m), compared to CHP45.8bn in the same period of 2009, said CCU yesterday (26 May).

Higher income tax charges accounted for a large part of the profits fall, but the beer, wine and soft drinks giant also blamed the effects of the earthquake, which struck at the end of February and claimed around 800 lives.

"As a consequence of the earthquake we faced a production interruption that affected our main business segments in Chile," said CCU, which is 33%-owned by Heineken.

"Nevertheless, given the situation that followed the earthquake, and the good performance obtained in January and February, overall we are satisfied with CCU’s Q1 results," said the group.

Strong volume sales growth in wine, as well as solid demand for beer in Argentina and soft drinks, helped CCU to offset price pressure in all segments and an 8% decline in beer volume sales in Chile. Group net sales rose by 1% for the quarter, to CHP213.6bn.
Operating profits rose by 2% to CHP47.8bn.

For the full announcement, click here.