The Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which is half owned by Anheuser-Busch, is planning to invest over US$300m in its operations this year, in line with the company's capital expenditure in 2002.

Despite the current economic uncertainty and the prospect of war, which could slow consumption in Mexico and the US, its main export market, Modelo said it would continue to move forward.

"We're moving forward with investment plans, maybe with a little bit more care," chief executive Carlos Fernandez told reporters Friday. "At the end of the day, you have to live the moment. And we have been through many phases." Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, posted an 11.8% drop in fourth-quarter net profit to MXN815m, in February, below market forecasts. However, the company said a fall in domestic sales had been offset by a stronger export performance.