Mexico's Alsea closes pandemic-hit 2020 with quarterly profit

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican restaurant operator Alsea on Thursday reported a net profit for the fourth quarter of 2020, its first in a year of pandemic-driven losses.

Still, the net profit of 165.5 million pesos ($8.3 million) was more than 60% lower than a year before for Alsea, which operates franchises of coffee chain Starbucks in various markets worldwide.

For 2020 as a whole, Alsea was still in the red, posting a loss of 3.2 billion pesos.

The company’s revenue in the October-to-December period was 11.3 billion pesos, down more than 26% from a year ago.

With nearly 90% of Alsea’s restaurants open by the end of the fourth quarter, sales increased more than 14% compared with the prior period, the company said in a statement.

Delivery in particular climbed more than 15% from the third quarter, growing to represent almost a third of Alsea’s consolidated sales. The company estimated that in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Spain, Alsea holds 12% of the market share for food and drink deliveries.

($1= 19.9500 pesos at end-December)

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Noe Torres; Editing by Leslie Adler and Marguerita Choy