Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA) has announced plans to invest in the construction of two plants in Mexico.

The brewing and soft drinks group said yesterday (7 November) that it is looking to invest US$275m in a brewery and US$117m for a glass bottle facility in the northern state of Chihuahua in the country.

The new brewery is set to have an annual production capacity of 5m hectolitres, 15% more than FEMSA's current capacity in the country. The glass bottle plant will have a capacity of 700m bottles per year, an increase of 54% over current levels, the company said.

The investment is targeted to take place next year and continue throughout 2009, with the plants expected to begin operations in 2010.

The company said that it may make an additional investment, dependant on how trends evolve, adding: "We anticipate the ability to make an additional investment of approximately US$315m for incremental capacity of 5m hectolitres per year for the brewery and a doubling of capacity in the glass bottle facility, reaching an installed capacity of 1.4m glass bottles per year."

The beer and glass bottle operations will create 1,350 direct new jobs and approximately 4,000 indirect jobs, while approximately 1,500 workers will take part in the construction, the company claimed.

FEMSA recently posted a 7.2% rise in consolidated total revenues for the third quarter to MXN36.73bn ($3.4bn), but revenue growth at its brewing arm lagged behind growth in soft drinks and retailing. While sales at its Oxxo retail arm rose by 15.2% and Coca-Cola FEMSA saw a 6% rise in revenues, FEMSA Cerveza registered only 3.3% revenue growth.

For the first nine months of 2007, FEMSA's consolidated total group revenues increased by 7.8% to MXN106.08bn.