Embotelladora Andina said it will be investing US$67m in capital projects this year, despite the global economic crisis.

The Latin American Coca-Cola-affiliated bottler, which operates in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, confirmed to just-drinks today (16 April) that it will invest $26m in Chile, $28m in Brazil and $13m in Argentina in 2009.

"The money will be used to revamp the production lines and logistics of the plants in each country," a spokesperson for Andina said. "The rest will be used for the construction of a new industrial installation in Chile and this amount will vary depending on how fast this project will  be undertaken."

The company said it could take between two to three years to complete, "depending on market conditions".

Andina said that it is also looking at expanding the size of its franchises.

"The company is always looking for good opportunities in the region and in the countries where it is currently present. When the company settles something concrete, it will be communicated," the spokesperson said.

Andina's franchises span Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo in Brazil, central Chile and a number of Argentine provinces.

The company's net profits for its fiscal first quarter fell by 13.4% on the corresponding period a year earlier, totalling CLP20.84bn (US$45.3m). Net sales in the period were flat, slipping 0.4% to CLP171.51bn. In volume terms, total sales rose by 5.7% to 120.6m unit cases.