Fomento Economico Mexicano (FEMSA) has posted flat operating income for its second quarter.

The Mexican company, which operates as a brewer and Coca-Cola bottler in Latin America, said late last week that operating income for the three months to 30 June rose by 0.6% to MXN5.1bn (US$464.8m). FEMSA blamed margin contractions at its brewing unit for the flat figure, despite an improvement in margin at its Coke bottling arm. Total sales for the quarter lifted by 7.% to MXN36bn.

For the year so far, operating income was down by 3.4% year-on-year to MXN8.2bn on sales up 8.1% to MXN67.8bn.

At FEMSA Cerveza, the group's brewing arm, second quarter sales rose by 2.7% to MXN9.9bn thanks primarily to a 22.5% leap in export sales, which reached MXN990m. Operating profit, however, slid by 16.8% in the three-month period, to MXN1.66bn.

Coca-Cola FEMSA, meanwhile, saw operating income for the three-month period rise by 10.5% year-on-year to MXN2.8bn. Total sales for the period were up by 8.2% to MXN16.4bn. Sales growth was driven primarily by FEMSA's domestic market and in Venezuela. CSD volumes were up by 5% to 446.8m unit cases across all territories.

"The trends continue to improve gradually across our businesses after a rocky start to the year," said José Antonio Fernández, chairman and CEO of FEMSA. "At Coca-Cola FEMSA, pricing dynamics in Mexico are stabilising and the business outside Mexico continues to deliver outstanding results.

"Meanwhile, at FEMSA Cerveza we are setting the conditions for a stronger second half of the year as the variables that drive our business, internal and external, gradually move in the right direction. Most importantly and beyond any short-term results, as we continue to execute our strategy and strengthen our competitive position in all our businesses, we are putting FEMSA in a position to pursue sustainable profitable growth, across operations and across territories."