Mexican Coke bottler Arca reports 23 pct jump in 4th-qtr profit
MEXICO CITY Feb 18 (Reuters) - Arca Continental, Mexico's No. 2 Coca-Cola bottler, on Wednesday reported a 23 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit, as it charged more for its drinks and sales volume increased.
The company reported profit of 1.583 billion pesos ($107 million), up from 1.284 billion pesos in the year earlier period.
Revenue rose 6 percent to 16.2 billion pesos, and sales volumes were up 0.7 percent, marking the first quarter of volume growth in the year, the company reported.
Mexico approved a tax of 1 peso per liter on sugary drinks and an 8 percent tax on fast food in 2013 as part of a wider tax overhaul that took effect at the start of 2014.
Mexicans are the world's biggest consumers of soda per person, drinking an average 707 8-ounce (0.24 liter) servings each year, according to U.S. newsletter Beverage Digest.
Since the tax changes, sales of Coke products have fallen for Arca and its bigger rival, Coca-Cola Femsa. Both companies have been trying to offset that by offering more types of beverages, such as juices and teas, as well as water.
Arca shares were up 2.43 percent at 94.85 pesos in morning trading. ($1 = 14.7475 pesos at end 2014 (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)
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