MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican bottler and retailer Femsa posted a drop in third-quarter net profit on Friday to 10.75 billion pesos ($534.10 million), down 23.8% from a year ago as operating costs jumped.
Quarterly revenue rose 20.5% year-on-year to 171.66 billion pesos ($8.66 billion), driven by increased sales across markets and beating the Refinitiv consensus of 163.17 billion pesos.
Operating costs rose in almost all of Femsa’s divisions, including a 69.4% jump in its logistics and distribution business on increased transportation and labor costs.
Femsa said the rise in operating costs in its convenience store and fuel divisions was below the increase in revenue, which along with a drop in costs for its health division reflected “tight expense control.”
Earnings from companies in which Femsa has controlling stakes, including Dutch beer maker Heineken (OTC:HEINY), also took a hit in the quarter, Femsa said.
Heineken’s beer volumes for the quarter were less than expected, showing signs of a slowdown in demand from some European markets.
Femsa’s core earnings, or EBITDA, for the quarter rose 14.4% to 23.20 billion pesos.
Analysts at Mexican brokerage Monex said Femsa’s results were “favorable” on the back of the bump in revenue and EBITDA and in line with estimates.
Monex said it would be monitoring Femsa’s ongoing acquisition of Swiss chain Valora, as well as inflationary pressures on Femsa’s convenience store division and raw material costs on bottling subsidiary Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) FEMSA.
Coca-Cola FEMSA reported an 18% bump in quarterly revenue on Monday as it shifted larger volumes across all its markets.
Shares of Femsa were up 1.7% at 139.40 pesos on Friday afternoon.
Monex has a “buy” recommendation on Femsa shares, with a target price of 162 pesos for end-2023.
Revenue at Grupo Nos, Femsa’s convenience store joint venture with Brazilian energy firm Raizen, surged 156% from the year-ago quarter.
Femsa continued to open convenience stores across Latin America, including more than 200 Oxxo locations.
Oxxo’s fintech arm, called Spin, logged 4.3 million users, with over 69% active, for the quarter. Spin executive Asensio Carrion told Reuters earlier this month it aimed to reach 10 million users by next year.
Spin received authorization from Mexico’s regulator to operate as a fintech this month, which Femsa Chief Executive Daniel Rodriguez said in a statement Friday would allow it to continue its bid to “become the pre-eminent fintech in Mexico.”
($1 = 20.1271 pesos by end-September)