MEXICO CITY Feb 26 Billionaire Carlos Slim's
conglomerate Grupo Carso said on Wednesday that
its fourth quarter profit fell 24 percent, citing a provision
related to the sale of its stake in cigarette company Philip
Profit at Grupo Carso dropped to 1.93 billion pesos in the
three months to end-December, down from 2.54 billion pesos a
Grupo Carso sold its 20 percent stake in Philip Morris
Mexico, which operates Marlboro and Delicados tobacco brands in
the country, for around $700 million in September. It was not
immediately clear how much the charge was on the sale.
Revenue in the period was flat at 24.74 billion pesos.
The breakdown of results within the group illustrates a
cross section of the Mexican economy, which slowed sharply in
the fourth quarter as industry ground to a halt and the pace of
services growth dropped.
Amid a consumer confidence slump, same-store sales at its
retail arm Sanborns fell 1.6 percent in the quarter, while at
its Sears chain they grew 0.5 percent.
Retail sales in Mexico saw their fastest drop in a year in
December, pointing to flagging consumer demand in Latin
America's No.2 economy.
Sales at CICSA, the group's construction arm, fell 2.8
percent in the period, hit by a fall in sales in the housing
Strong demand from the autos and industrial metals sectors
helped lift sales 2.8 percent at Condumex, the firm's
manufacturing division, despite a drop-off in sales in the