26 Feb 2007

FEMSA Reports Double-Digit Growth in 2006

Total Revenues increased 13.2% to US$ 11.6 billion for full year

Monday, 02/26/2007, 9:36:36 am



Monterrey, Mexico, February 26, 2007 — Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. (“FEMSA”) today announced its operational and financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2006.



Fourth Quarter Highlights:
·        Consolidated total revenues increased 13.0%, reaching Ps. 32.812 billion. However, high commodity prices, continuing the third quarter trend, put pressure on the cost structure of our core beverage operations.
·         Coca-Cola FEMSA revenues increased 7.1%, driven by all regions. Price per unit case in the Valley of Mexico continued to be under pressure.
·         FEMSA Cerveza revenues (excluding Brazil) increased 8.3%. Domestic sales volume grew a robust 6.6% and export sales volume increased 13.1%, rounding off a solid year of top-line growth in Mexico and in the U.S.
·         Oxxo continued its pace of double-digit growth, increasing revenues by 15.1% driven by 363 net new stores and a 6.0% increase in same-store sales.
·         Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company announced an agreement to acquire Jugos del Valle creating a platform to develop our non-carbonated beverages business.
2006 Full Year Highlights:
·         Consolidated Net Majority Income increased 14.8% to Ps. 6.622 billion.
·         FEMSA Cerveza revenues (excluding Brazil) increased 9.2%; income from operations increased 7.1%.
·         FEMSA Cerveza’s Brazilian operations grew volumes consistently ahead of the industry during the second half of 2006, generating Ps. 110 million of EBITDA.
·         Ordinary dividend of US$135 million approved by FEMSA’s Board of Directors, to be paid in 2007 and subject to approval at the annual shareholders meeting in March, representing a 44% increase over the prior year.
·         Three-for-One stock split approved by FEMSA’s Board of Directors, subject to approval at the annual shareholders meeting in March.


José Antonio Fernández, Chairman and CEO of FEMSA, commented, “2006 closed as a year of important accomplishments both operationally and strategically. Results across our business units showed robust growth trends with Oxxo opening over 700 new stores across Mexico and the beer division achieving its fourth consecutive year of accelerated volume growth in Mexico, with exports well into the double-digits. On the strategic front, we completed several important transactions that will enhance our business in terms of growth opportunities, and leverage our distinct business model. The acquisition of Kaiser in Brazil, the announced agreement of Coca-Cola FEMSA to acquire Jugos del Valle jointly with The Coca-Cola Company, and our new cooperative framework with The Coca-Cola Company position FEMSA to continue to pursue value-creating opportunities and enhance our leadership position in Latin American beverages.”


FEMSA Consolidated
Total revenues increased 13.0% to Ps. 32.812 billion in 4Q06, reflecting solid top-line growth in all of our business units. This increase was driven by revenue growth of 27.9% at FEMSA Cerveza (including Brazil), 15.1% at the Oxxo retail chain, and 7.1% at Coca-Cola FEMSA.
For full year 2006, total revenues increased 13.2% to Ps. 126.427 billion. All of FEMSA’s operations – soft drinks, beer and retail – contributed positively to this double-digit pace. FEMSA Cerveza experienced total revenue growth of 24.1% due to the inclusion of its Brazilian operations, a 6.5% increase in total sales volume (excluding Brazil), and higher real domestic price per hectoliter. The Oxxo retail chain’s total revenues increased 18.7% to Ps. 35.500 billion, due in large part to the 706 net new stores opened during the year. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s total revenues increased 6.9% to Ps. 57.738 billion, mainly due to increased prices and strong volume growth throughout most of its nine countries of operation; Mexico experienced continued pricing pressure that was compensated for by price improvements in the other territories.
Gross profit increased 11.5% to Ps. 15.254 billion in 4Q06, however, we experienced a 60 basis point decrease in gross margin, to 46.5% of total revenues. This margin contraction reflects sustained raw material pressure at FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA, the inclusion of lower margin Brazil beer operations, and the greater contribution of the Oxxo retail operations in FEMSA’s consolidated results.
For full year 2006, gross profit increased 12.1% to Ps. 58.487 billion. The gross margin decrease of 40 basis points from the same period of 2005 to 46.3% of total revenues was driven by the same reasons described in the paragraph above.
Income from operationsincreased 0.3% to Ps. 4.484 billion in 4Q06, resulting in an operating margin of 13.7%, 170 basis points below 2005 levels. The decrease in operating margin was primarily attributable to 1) a margin contraction at our key beverage operations, 2) the increased contribution of the Oxxo retail chain, and 3) the inclusion of FEMSA Cerveza’s Brazilian beer operations and increased marketing expenses ahead of the Brazilian summer.
For full year 2006, income from operations increased 6.0% to Ps. 17.390 billion. The consolidated operating margin decreased 90 basis points from 2005 levels, reaching 13.8% of total revenues.
Net incomedecreased 9.5% to Ps. 2.380 billion in 4Q06. This decline primarily resulted from stable income from operations, in-line with prior year’s levels, combined with an increase in other expenses and a higher effective tax rate.
For full year 2006, net income increased 7.3% to Ps. 9.195 billion due to growth in income from operations combined with a decrease in net interest expense, higher gains on monetary position, and a reduction in the effective tax rate. The effective tax rate for the year was 34.3%, including profit sharing.
Net majority income per FEMSA Unit [1] was Ps. 1.363 in 4Q06 and Ps. 5.552 for full year 2006. Net majority income per FEMSA ADS, considering an exchange rate of Ps. 10.876 per dollar, was US$ 5.105 in 2006. Consolidated net majority income amounted to Ps. 6.622 billion for the year, up 14.8% from 2005. 
Capital expendituresfor full year 2006 increased 26.0% to Ps. 8.888 billion, reflecting increased investment in all three main business units, which was slightly above our expectations due to the inclusion of our Brazilian beer operations and slightly higher capex at Oxxo and FEMSA Cerveza.
Consolidated net debt. As of December 31, 2006, FEMSA recorded a cash balance of Ps. 7.936 billion (US$ 730 million), short-term debt of Ps. 3.490 billion (US$ 321 million) and long-term debt of Ps. 36.691 billion (US$ 3.374 billion), for a net debt of Ps. 32.245 billion (US$ 2.965 billion). The increase in net debt was mainly related to the acquisition of an additional 8.01% interest in Coca-Cola FEMSA and to our Brazilian beer operations.

[1]FEMSA Units consist of FEMSA BD Units and FEMSA B Units. Each FEMSA BD Unit is comprised of one Series B Share, two Series D-B Shares and two Series D-L Shares. Each FEMSA B Unit is comprised of five Series B Shares. The number of FEMSA Units outstanding as of December 31, 2006 was 1,192,742,090 equivalent to the total number of FEMSA Shares outstanding as of the same date, divided by 5.

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