Mexican drinks group FEMSA has seen rising beer sales at home and abroad give a fillip to profits in 2005.

The group's beer arm, FEMSA Cerveza yesterday (27 February) posted a 4.9% increase in domestic volumes, while exports to the US were up 8.8%.

Sales to the US, which include the brands Dos Equis and Sol, outpaced an already buoyant US import category, FEMSA said. Last year was the first full year of FEMSA's relationship with Heineken, its distribution partner in the US.

Operating profit rose 9.5% on the back of a 9% increase in revenues to US$9.9bn.

FEMSA chairman and CEO Jose Antonio Fernandez said: "FEMSA Cerveza grew its total beer sales volume by almost 5%, which is twice the global beer growth average, while it expanded its operating margin for the 10th consecutive year. While there is much work to do, we have a strong team that is committed to continue generating value for the long-term."