UPDATE 1-Mexico's Femsa's profit falls in Q4 despite bumper revenues

miércoles 24 de febrero de 2016 11:15 GYT

(Adds revenue, details on retail business expenses)

MEXICO CITY Feb 24 (Reuters) - Mexican bottling and retail company Femsa on Wednesday said its fourth-quarter profit fell by a quarter, as higher operating and administrative expenses at its retail business offset a bumper revenue.

The company, which operates the Oxxo chain of convenience stores, reported a profit of 5.436 billion pesos ($315.8 million), compared with a profit of 7.254 billion pesos in the October-December period a year earlier.

Femsa said revenue climbed 28 percent to 89.469 billion pesos, helped by the opening of new Oxxo stores as well as the addition of pharmacies acquired last year.

Those new store openings added to higher operating costs, however. Femsa also said its administrative costs climbed as the company made organizational changes "in preparation for further growth of new operations, particularly drugstores."

Femsa has been on a buying spree in the last couple of years, expanding its retail business by buying up pharmacy chains, gasoline stations and fast-food operators.

The Monterrey-based company said it opened 1,208 Oxxo stores in 2015. The convenience stores operate across Mexico and Colombia.

Femsa's bottling business, Coca-Cola Femsa, on Tuesday reported a slightly higher fourth-quarter profit, helped by higher drink prices.

Femsa also holds a 20 percent stake in Dutch brewer Heineken , and lower quarterly profit at that company also dampened the Mexican company's consolidated results, Femsa said.

Femsa shares were down more than 3 percent at 168.00 pesos in morning trading, amid a 1.75 percent drop in Mexico's benchmark stock index. ($1 = 17.2120 at end Dec) (Reporting by Elinor Comlay; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis)