July 27, 2018 / 1:45 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Femsa 2nd-qtr profit jumps 89 pct on sales, forex

(Adds CEO’s comments, details on Oxxo convenience stores)

MEXICO CITY, July 27 (Reuters) - Mexican bottler and retailer Fomento Economico Mexicano, or Femsa, said on Friday that its second-quarter net profit surged about 89 percent compared with the year-earlier period on higher sales and a foreign exchange gain.

Net profit was 8.796 billion pesos ($442.6 million), up from 4.657 billion pesos a year earlier, driven by “a non-cash foreign exchange gain,” the company said.

Sales increased 8.6 percent to 124.71 billion pesos from 114.80 billion pesos in the year-earlier period.

Same-store sales at its ubiquitous Oxxo convenience stores increased 3.0 percent in the second quarter, and the company opened 483 net new stores. At the end of June, Femsa had a total of 17,246 Oxxo stores.

Femsa has been expanding a pilot program to use Oxxo stores as package pickup points for Amazon.com Inc.

At Femsa’s Coca-Cola bottling unit, one of the world’s largest, “we saw resilient top-line performance in Mexico driven by strong pricing, as well as sustained positive volume trends in Brazil, despite the challenging macroenvironment,” said Femsa Chief Executive Eduardo Padilla.

Mexico’s largest retailer, Walmart de Mexico, beat expectations in its second quarter results earlier this week, though the company noted that consumption across the region was decelerating due to higher interest rates and an uptick in inflation. ($1 = 19.8730 pesos at the end of June) (Reporting by Anthony Esposito Additional reporting by Christine Murray Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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