FEMSA Cerveza bows out with sales, profits rise

FEMSA Cerveza bows out with sales, profits rise

Strong demand for beer in Brazil has helped FEMSA Cerveza to lift sales and profits for what is likely to be the beer unit's last full quarter before joining Heineken.

Net sales rose on a year-on-year basis by 4% for the first three months of 2010, to MXN10.4bn (US$854m), said FEMSA Cerveza's parent group, Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA), today (26 April).

Price rises and a 10% increase in beer volume sales in Brazil helped the beer unit offset a 6% drop in beer volumes at home in Mexico, where it is the country's second largest brewer behind Grupo Modelo.

The figures will be heartening for Heineken, which is expecting to close its deal to acquire FEMSA Cerveza within the next few days.

FEMSA Cerveza's operating profits rose by nearly 13% for the quarter, to MXN887m, reflecting a strong rise in average price per hectolitre of beer in Mexico and Brazil, said the group.

Despite the sales and profits increase, the beer division's performance was eclipsed by FEMSA group's other two business units in the quarter.

Coca-Cola FEMSA announced late last week that sales rose by 4.7% to MXN23.60bn, with net profits up 58% to MXN2.2bn.

Retail division FEMSA Commercio today reported sales up 14% to MXN13.5bn and operating profits up 29% to MXN619m. 

Total FEMSA net sales for the quarter rose by 6% to MXN46bn. Operating profits rose by 10% to MXN5.3bn and net profits doubled to MXN3.1bn, largely boosted by lower interest charges and fewer foreign exchange losses when compared with the previous year.

For the full announcement, click here.