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FEMSA Grows Operating Income 9.8% In 1Q10

MONTERREY, Mexico, April 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fomento Economico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. ("FEMSA") (NYSE: FMX) announced today its operational and financial results for the first quarter.

First Quarter 2010 Highlights:

  • Consolidated total revenues and income from operations grew 6.2% and 9.8%, respectively, compared to the first quarter 2009, in spite of a challenging economic environment.
  • Coca-Cola FEMSA total revenues and income from operations increased 4.7% and 6.4%, respectively. Double-digit income from operations growth in Latincentro and Mercosur divisions drove these results.
  • FEMSA Cerveza income from operations increased 12.7%. Top-line growth mainly due to higher price per hectoliter in Mexico and strong volume growth in Brazil, combined with lower cost pressures, resulted in an operating margin expansion of 70 basis points.
  • FEMSA Comercio continued its pace of strong growth and margin expansion. Income from operations increased 28.7%, resulting in an operating margin expansion of 50 basis points.

Jose Antonio Fernandez, Chairman and CEO of FEMSA, commented: "The first quarter of 2010 demonstrated once again the strength of our diversified platform. While beverage consumers in Mexico were pressured by prevailing macroeconomic challenges, compounded by incremental taxes and affected by cold weather, we saw very solid numbers come out of our South American operations. While comparable sales growth was negative in FEMSA Comercio's northern border Mexican markets, we saw healthy trends in the center and south. And so, today we are able to report a solid set of numbers, with meaningful growth in operating income as well as margin expansion at every one of our businesses.

"In addition to that, today we are well on our way to closing the strategic Heineken transaction. Heineken shareholders have already voted in favor of the operation, most relevant regulators have signaled the green light as well, and later today we expect the shareholders of FEMSA to approve the transaction. And so, we are almost at the starting point of a new stage for our company, one that fills us with optimism and enthusiasm. We stand ready and energized to continue driving FEMSA along a path of long-term growth and value creation. And we hope you come along for the ride."

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