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CHILE: Stake sale boosts CCU profits

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Chilean beverage giant Compania Cervecerias Unidas (CCU) has posted a 51.6% increase in profits for the first nine months of the year, boosted by a stake sale to Nestle Waters and negative inflation.

For the nine months to the end of September, CCU's net profits rose to CLP95.29bn (US$174.5m), compared to CLP62.86bn during the same period a year earlier.

Net sales reached CLP544.98bn, a 14.3% increase on the comparable period of the prior year.

Operating income for the nine months increased by 15.5% to reach CLP93.18bn.

"We are pleased with CCU's third quarter results which are better than last year,
despite the relentless consumption slow down coupled with an average weaker
Chilean peso as compared to 2008, both being significant variables for our
business," the company said.

Beer sales in Chile increased 0.7% to CLP56.4m, as a result of 6.1% higher
average prices, partially compensated by 4.7% lower sales volumes.

In Argentina, sales increased 0.6%, due to a higher average price of 6.3%, volumes
0.1% higher but 50% lower income from related exports.

CCU's H1 profit rose 35% in August.


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