October 25, 2012 / 2:00 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 2-Mexico's Femsa profit up 2 pct, crimped by forex losses

* Revenue up 18.1 percent at 59.675 billion pesos

* Sales at Oxxo chain convenience stores up 16 percent

MEXICO CITY, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Mexican retailer and beverage company Femsa said Thursday third-quarter profit rose about 2 percent, with a big surge in sales crimped by exchange rate losses.

The company, which co-owns Coke bottler Coca-Cola Femsa with Coca-Cola Co, said profit climbed a little to 4.725 billion pesos ($367 million) in the July-September period, with exchange-rate losses eroding much of the impact of improved revenue in the quarter. A year ago, it earned a profit of 4.639 billion pesos on healthy exchange rate gains.

A sharp devaluation of the peso at the end of the third quarter of 2011 boosted the value of the company’s dollar cash position in pesos, compared with this year, when the peso ended stronger at the end of quarter, the company said.

The company recorded a 54-million-peso loss in the quarter due to foreign exchange moves, compared with a 1.158- billion-peso gain in the same quarter of 2011.

Femsa, which also owns the Oxxo chain of convenience stores and a 20 percent stake in Dutch brewer Heineken, said revenue grew 18.1 percent in the third quarter to 59.675 billion pesos, from 50.544 billion pesos.

The company benefited from higher beverage sales at Coke Femsa, which earlier this week said third-quarter revenue grew 20 percent.

Femsa said sales at its Oxxo chain in the third quarter increased 16 percent from a year earlier. Femsa opened 178 stores in the quarter for a total of 10,167 stores.

Femsa shares dipped 0.52 percent to 120.02 pesos, after reaching a record intraday high last week of 125.60 pesos. Since the end of 2008, Femsa’s stock has rocketed 190 percent and outperformed Mexico’s benchmark index, which has climbed about 87 percent over the same period.

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