(Recasts; adds capital expenditure details, NAFTA fears, peso
By Noe Torres
MEXICO CITY Feb 27 Mexican bottler and retailer
Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) on Monday reported a 23
percent rise in fourth-quarter profit compared to the same
period a year earlier, driven by currency gains stemming from a
deep slump in the Mexican peso.
Net profit at the company, which operates the
Oxxo chain of convenience stores and has a stake in Heineken NV
, rose to 6.673 billion pesos ($323 million).
Between October and December, the Mexican peso fell
by more than 7 percent against the dollar, fueled by fears of
what a Donald Trump presidency could mean for Latin America's
second largest economy.
Trump has threatened to slap hefty taxes on imports from
Mexico to the United States and to scuttle the North American
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada if it cannot
be renegotiated to benefit U.S. interests.
Femsa, which said it would raise capital expenditure
modestly this year to $1.3 billion, flagged uncertainty over
NAFTA, foreign direct investment in Mexico, the peso, and the
impact of U.S. taxes on Mexico in a conference call with
Total revenues for the company, which is based in the
northern industrial city of Monterrey, also rose 23 percent
year-on-year to 109.907 billion pesos, driven by growth in all
Coca-Cola Femsa, the largest Coke bottler in the
world and a joint venture of Femsa, reported a 30.5 percent jump
in quarterly profit last week, helped by higher volume sales in
Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Philippines.
On the earnings call, Femsa executives said some $770
million of the capital expenditure would be in Coke Femsa.
($1 = 20.64 pesos)
(Reporting by Noe Torres and Alexandra Alper; Editing by Chizu
Nomiyama and Paul Simao)