FEMSA has posted a slight lift in sales, but a dip in net profit for the first three months of 2007.

The Mexican company, which operates as a brewer and a Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, said today (30 April) that consolidated total revenues for the quarter were up by 8.7% year-on-year, to MXN31.57bn (US$2.89bn) with all operating units contributing to the rise. Net profit for the quarter, however, was down by 12% at MXN1.05bn. The slip was blamed on higher prices for aluminum and increased marketing costs in Brazil.

The company's FEMSA Cerveza unit saw revenues lift by 3.6%, with Mexico sales volume up by 2.6%, Brazil sales volume up by 14.4%, and export sales volume up 5.8%. A combination of external and internal factors, however, mainly in Brazil and Mexico, resulted in a 57.6% decrease in income from operations.

At the Coca-Cola unit, sales volumes were up by 7% with income from operations up by 10.8%. Strongest growth came from all international operations, which combined grew at a double-digit pace.

"FEMSA delivered mixed results in a very tough first quarter," said Jose Antonio Fernandez, chairman and CEO of FEMSA. "Most notable was the weakness at the beer division due to a softer demand environment in Mexico, a seasonal increase in marketing expenses in Brazil, and increased raw material pressure, as expected. Additionally, negative weather trends and a weak pricing environment further complicated matters.

"While we are not pleased with the first quarter results, we are as confident as ever that we are executing on the right strategy to maximise value creation over the long-term."