February 27, 2013 / 1:45 PM / in 5 years

UPDATE 3-Mexico's Coca-Cola Femsa 4th-qtr profit jumps 35 pct

* Q4 profit 4.324 bln pesos vs 3.212 bln pesos yr ago

* Quarterly revenue rises 10.4 pct to 39.86 bln pesos

Feb 27 (Reuters) - Mexico’s Coca-Cola Femsa, the world’s largest Coke bottler, said on Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose nearly 35 percent, helped by a pickup in sales driven by recent acquisitions in Mexico.

The company, a joint venture of Coca-Cola Co and Mexican retailer and beverage company Femsa, said fourth-quarter profit jumped to 4.324 billion pesos ($336 million) from 3.212 billion pesos in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose 10.4 percent in the quarter to 39.86 billion pesos.

The volume of bottled drinks sold increased 10.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, mainly driven by a pickup in sales of still beverages such as juices, the company said.

Coke Femsa has been snapping up smaller bottlers in Mexico in the last two years and it recently made its first foray outside of Latin America.

Last month, the company completed a $688.5 million acquisition of a 51 percent stake in Coca-Cola Co’s bottling operations in the Philippines.

Earlier in January, Coke Femsa had agreed to buy Mexico’s Grupo Yoli, the maker of a popular lime-flavored soft drink, in a deal valued at around $700 million.

The acquisitions of smaller rivals Grupo Tampico and Grupo Cimsa in 2011 also boosted Coke Femsa’s sales in the fourth quarter.

The company expects to invest $800 million in its business this year, up slightly from $750 million last year, as it completes the construction of two production plants, Chief Financial Officer Hector Treviño told analysts on a conference call.

Investment in the Philippines business will be an additional $100 million to $120 million, but that will come from money generated by the operation there, he added.

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