UPDATE 1-Mexico's Alfa turns profit on lower costs, dollar-denominated sales
(Adds revenue, details on businesses)
MEXICO CITY Feb 10 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Alfa on Wednesday reported a slight fourth-quarter profit, compared to a deep loss in the year-earlier period, helped by a pick-up in U.S.-dollar-denominated sales and lower financial costs.
Alfa, which controls petrochemical, car parts, and refrigerated food businesses, posted a net profit of 162 million pesos ($9.41 million) in the final three months of 2015, compared to a loss of 6.4 billion pesos in the year-earlier period, when financial costs jumped sharply on currency volatility.
The Monterrey-based company said its quarterly revenue climbed 1.6 percent to 65.2 billion pesos, boosted by higher sales from its food business Sigma and car parts unit Nemak, which offset a dip in sales at petrochemicals unit Alpek.
Operating profit climbed 35 percent to 5.932 billion pesos. That reflected a one-off insurance benefit at Sigma, as well as lower raw materials costs for the food company, combined with a better performance at Nemak and telecoms unit Alestra, the company said.
Alfa Chief Executive Officer Alvaro Fernandez Garza said last summer that the company was still planning an initial public offering of its refrigerated food unit Sigma, but would proceed cautiously because of the sliding peso. ($1 = 17.2120 pesos at end of December) (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Paul Simao)
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