Modelo, the Mexico-based brewer, has reported a 14% drop in net profits for the first quarter of 2009, due to higher raw materials costs and tax charges.

Net profits for the three months to the end of March fell to MXN1.78bn (US$135m), compared just over MXN2bn for the same period in 2008, Modelo said yesterday (21 April).

The fall was largely due to higher raw materials costs and an 11% increase in tax charges, largely accounted for by the firm's foreign subsidiaries, Modelo said.

Sales rose by 4% for the period to MXN16.96bn, with higher beer prices lifting the Corona brewer's performance at home and abroad. Domestic beer volumes rose by 1.3% for the period, although export volumes fell by 6.5% as the global econmomic downturn hit consumption in several markets, Modelo said.