Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A. de C.V., or FEMSA, has reported its operational and financial results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2004.

The largest integrated beverage company in Latin America said today (27 October) that consolidated total revenues increase by 6.8% and income from operations rise by 6.6% during Q3 driven by steady performance at its main business units.

The company said that FEMSA Cerveza domestic volume increased by 4.3% during the three-month period and income from operations rose by 4.6%. "We continued to experience positive sales trends throughout all our Mexican territories by leveraging our new business model," the company said in a statement.

Coca-Cola FEMSA's income from operations increased by 9% during the quarter, while operating margin expanded year-over-year in all international operations and sequentially in Mexico.

In a statement, Jose Antonio Fernandez, chairman and CEO of FEMSA, said: "I am pleased to report another quarter where we made solid progress in the implementation of our beverage strategy.

"In late August we finalised the transaction whereby we repurchased 30% of FEMSA Cerveza and unwound our business relationship with Interbrew. We are moving swiftly to leverage our renewed flexibility and are making progress in the design of the business plan for our US exports together with Heineken USA. In the key domestic beer market, we are on track in our transformation efforts with very positive results.

"At Coca-Cola FEMSA, we achieved operating margin expansion in most of our territories," Fernandez added. "It is increasingly evident that the acquisition of our new territories is supporting our growth through the diversification of revenues and profit sources throughout Latin America.

"We are optimistic about the road ahead and we will keep the pace," he concluded. "There is much work to be done in our pursuit to create long-term shareholder value."