CHILE: CCU sees H1 profits soar

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Compania Cervecerias Unidas has posted an impressive leap in operating and net profit in the year so far.

The Chilean drinks company, which also operates in neighbouring Argentina, said yesterday (1 August) that operating profit for the six months to 30 June rose by 34.5% year-on-year to US$86.1m. Net sales for the period were up by 9.5% to $537.7m.

By segment, beer in the Argentinean market saw sales leap by 24% in the year so far, bringing in $60m. The company's spirits portfolio rose by 12% to $30.4m.

"We are very pleased with the results," said company CEO Patricio Jottar. "These results are attributable to an improved performance in all of our business segments ... as a consequence of strong volumes, higher margins and a controlled cost structure."

CCU is the largest Chilean brewer, the second-largest Argentine brewer, the third-largest Chilean soft drink producer, the second-largest Chilean wine producer, the largest Chilean mineral water producer and recently entered the pisco business. The company also has licensing and/or joint venture arrangements with Paulaner Brauerei , Anheuser-Busch, Heineken and PepsiCo.

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