Panamerican Beverages (Panamco), the largest soft drinks bottler in Latin America, posted an $84.7m loss for the third quarter as it took $82.7m in exceptional charges. The company has written down assets and cut jobs in response to deteriorating economic conditions in the region, notably in Venezuela.

Excluding the exceptional charges, the company made a loss of $2m in the third quarter, representing 2 cents a share. Analysts had been forecasting a profit of 7 cents per share. In the third quarter last year, the company recorded a profit of $30.1m.

"Our focus remains on improving operating performance through more effective price/value management, better execution and the strengthening of cost and expense controls," said Panamco CEO, Craig Jung. "Additionally, we are proactively taking necessary actions to enable the company to maximize operating results in difficult economic environments, while positioning Panamco to reap greater benefits as our economic environments improve."

Consolidated net sales reached $563.7m, representing a decline of 11% from a year ago. Panamco attributed the fall to currency weakness across the region and said that, on a currency neutral basis, sales increased by 8.1%. Consolidated revenue per case fell by 12.6%, but only by 6.1% on a currency neutral basis.

Panamco is forecasting a profit of between $60m and $70m for the full fiscal year.