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UPDATE 1-Mexico's Carso net soars on Philip Morris sale

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MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Grupo Carso posted a jump in fourth-quarter net profit, boosted by the sale of a stake in its cigarette business, but operating results were hurt by softness in the construction, industrial and retail sectors.

Carso GCARSOA1.MX, owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, said on Tuesday it earned 13.186 billion pesos ($1.2 billion) in the October-December period, compared with 1.888 billion pesos in the same period a year earlier.

The quarterly net was lifted by a $1.1 billion payment Carso received from selling a 30 percent stake in its tobacco business to partner Philip Morris, bringing parent Altria Group Inc's MO.N total stake in the Cigatam venture to 80 percent.

Carso’s quarterly revenue increased 3.3 percent to 21.147 billion pesos.

But earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), a key performance gauge for Mexican companies, dropped 36 percent to 2.525 billion pesos.

Operating profit in the quarter dived 42 percent to 1.979 billion pesos.

Carso shares jumped 7.78 percent on Tuesday to close at 49.16 pesos. The gain was driven by Monday’s announcement that the company will pay a 7 pesos per share extraordinary dividend this year. (Reporting by Cyntia Barrera Diaz; Editing by Leslie Gevirtz) ($1 = 10.9195 at end December)

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