Peruvian beverage producer Union de Cervecerias Peruanas Backus & Johnston SAA, or Backus, has posted a drop in net income in its second quarter. The company said yesterday that net income reached PEN44 m (US$13.3 m) compared to PEN76.2 m in the same quarter last year.

Gross revenues for the company fell to PEN246.9 m from PEN265.8 m year-on-year.

Backus blamed the fall in net income in part on an increase in the selective consumer tax in June last year, which it absorbed in order to keep prices unchanged for consumers.

Six-monthly net income plunged to PEN55.8 m compared with PEN144.0 m in the same period a year earlier, while total six-month revenues were PEN510.1 m, compared with PEN547.5 m in the same period of 2003.

Backus is controlled by Colombia's Bavaria SA. Venezuela's Cisneros Group also holds a minority position in Backus, as do other local shareholders.