(Adds details on Heineken stake, paragraph 6)
MEXICO CITY, April 30 (Reuters) - Mexican retailer and bottling company Femsa on Thursday said its first-quarter profit rose 26 percent compared with a year earlier, boosted by store openings in its retail division and a one-time gain from its stake in Heineken.
The company, which co-owns Coke bottler Coca-Cola Femsa and operates the Oxxo chain of convenience stores, reported a profit of 3.13 billion pesos ($205 million), compared with a profit of 2.49 billion pesos in the year-earlier quarter.
Sales in its retail division grew 19 percent in the quarter, buoyed by the opening of 154 new stores.
Femsa in 2010 bought 20 percent of one of the world’s biggest brewers, Heineken.
Femsa’s profit from stakes in associated companies and joint ventures more than doubled, mostly because of Heineken’s sale of its beverage packaging business Empaque to Crown Holdings Inc .
The lock-up period on its Heineken stake ends on Friday, but on a conference call on Thursday Femsa said it is happy with the investment and does not forsee any need to sell the shares.
Revenue during the quarter rose 1.5 percent to 65.2 billion pesos.
Coke Femsa on Wednesday reported a 5 percent fall in first-quarter profit as its sales fell across Latin America.
Shares in Femsa were down 1.07 percent before it reported its results, at 139.08 pesos per share.
$1 = 15.2610 pesos at end March Reporting by Christine Murray; Editing by Jonathan Oatis, Grant McCool