Mexico's Alsea says April, May sales exceeded internal forecasts

MEXICO CITY, June 26 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Alsea said on Friday its April and May sales beat internal forecasts, yet were far lower than last year before the coronavirus pandemic forced the restaurant operator to vastly reduce operations.

In April, Alsea’s sales fell nearly 76% year-on-year, but beat its own forecast by more than 40%, it said. In May, sales dipped about 67%, but outdid the estimate by almost 55%.

Alsea, which operates franchises of the coffee chain Starbucks and chain eateries such as Chili’s and P.F. Chang’s, set its forecasts at the start of April, it said in a statement.

It did not disclose the exact estimates or sales figures.

Operations in Europe were better than anticipated in May, with sales 224% above internal expectations, because eateries re-opened in the region sooner than expected, Alsea said.

The company posted a net loss of 390 million pesos ($16.4 million) in the first quarter, slammed by lockdown measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus that weakened sales across its markets, particularly in Europe. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Editing by Will Dunham)