Bottling firm to invest $1.1 bn in Colombia, Brazil
Mexico City, March 1 (IANS/EFE) Fomento Economico Mexicano, or FEMSA, Latin America's largest bottling company, said it planned to invest $1.1 billion this year in new projects, including new plants in Colombia and Brazil.
Some $710 million will go toward maintenance and expansion at Coca-Cola Femsa, as well as the construction of the two new plants in South America, CFO Javier Astaburuaga said.
The company plans to invest $350 million in the Oxxo convenience store chain to continue meeting the target of three new store openings per day, Astaburuaga said.
FEMSA expects to generate $600 million in excess cash this year that could be used for acquisitions at either of its two business units, the CFO said.
The company reported net consolidated profits of 20.68 billion pesos (about $1.6 billion) in 2011, down 54.3 percent from the 45.29 billion pesos (some $3.51 billion) in profits posted in 2010.
Revenues rose 19.6 percent to 203.04 billion pesos ($15.75 billion), FEMSA said in a filing with securities regulators.
Gross profits soared 19.8 percent to 85.03 billion pesos (about $6.59 billion), the company said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization surged 19.5 percent to 33.95 billion pesos ($2.63 billion), FEMSA said.
Capital expenditures (Capex) totaled 12.51 billion pesos (about $970 million), or 12 percent above the 2010 level, the company said.
The year "2011 was a strong year for our company. Despite a volatile economic environment", FEMSA chairman and CEO Jose Antonio Fernandez said.
"Demand for our products remained healthy, and we stayed the course and managed to convert that demand into robust financial results by focusing our time, efforts and resources on the extraordinary opportunities for Coca-Cola FEMSA and OXXO," the CEO said.
Coca-Cola Femsa produces and distributes Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, del Valle, other Coca-Cola Co. products in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina.
The company also sells bottled water, juices, tea, sports drinks, beer and other products.
"And so we look at 2012 with optimism and renewed energy, ready to keep moving our company forward by pursuing and overcoming new challenges," Fernandez said.
Coca-Cola Femsa has 34 bottling plants across Latin America and provides its products to 1.6 million retailers in the region.