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MEXICO: Coca-Cola FEMSA's expenses outpace sales - analyst

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An analyst has raised concern over Coca-Cola FEMSA's Q2 results, branding them "weak" and highlighting that operating expenses grew much faster than sales. 

The Mexico-based firm revealed late yesterday (24 July) that first-half net profits rose 9% to MXN5.64bn (US$412m). However, Q2 profits were flat despite sales leaping 27.8% to MXN36.12bn.

Analysts at JP Morgan said the jump in Q2 net sales was driven "solely by pricing". "The currency neutral, organic sales growth of 12% came entirely from pricing," it said in a note. 

Reported EBITDA grew 17% to MXN6.3bn, but only 7% of that growth was organic, "What jumps out is that operating expenses grew much faster than sales," the analysts said. These expenses include new IT system amortisation and investments in innovations in Mexico, as well as labour and logistic expenses in Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, Coca-Cola FEMSA's management said in a conference call, according to JP Morgan.

Coca-Cola FEMSA also "toned down" its full-year expectations. "Earlier this year, management said EBITDA margin could be flat. Today, they said this is likely to be slightly down for the full year," JP Morgan said. 


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