The US-based Latin American drinks group, Panamerican Beverages Inc. (Panamco), the region's largest soft drinks bottler, posted second-quarter net income of $32.2m, down 20% from $40.2m in the corresponding period last year. The company attributed the fall principally to disappointing results from its Venezuelan operations caused by adverse economic conditions.

Sales revenues at Panamco fell from $666.2m to $623.4m. The company said it expects to post net income of between $135m and $145m for the full year. It also said it will take a $2m to $3m charge in the third quarter, and expects additional costs of $500,000 in the quarter relating to the re-imposition of the 20% tax on fructose-sweetened soft drinks in Mexico.

Panamco said that excluding its Venezuelan operations, the latest quarter earnings were $37.8m, compared with $25.6m in the corresponding period in 2001.

In addition to the adverse conditions in Venezuela, Panamco said it was hit by currency weakness in Mexico and Brazil and declining market volumes in Colombia.