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FEMSA REPORTS ON FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR END; SALES AND PROFITS INCREASE FOR 1992

 MONTERREY, Mexico, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A. de C.V. (FEMSA), Mexico's leading producer of beer and soft drinks, today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 1992.
 Revenues for the fourth quarter of 1992 were 1,636 million new pesos, a 5.5 percent increase over those achieved during the same period in 1991. Operating income for the fourth quarter of 1992 was 182 million new pesos compared with 139 million reported during the same period in 1991, representing a 31 percent increase in real terms.
 For the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, revenues were 6,548 million new pesos, a 3.8 percent increase from that reported in 1991. The increase can be attributed to a 2.7 percent growth in volume of beer sales and a 6 percent growth in volume of soft drink sales. In addition, prices on beer products were held relatively constant and prices for soft drinks were increased 2.7 percent.
 Consolidated operating margin for the year improved 8.3 percent in real terms, as a result of effort to achieve greater efficiency and productivity in production processes, in addition to lower prices of inputs. However, as a consequence of a very competitive environment and the launching of new products and presentations, operating costs increased 9.9 percent in real terms. Operating profits reached 691 million new pesos, 3.6 percent greater in real terms than those reported for the year ended Dec. 31, 1991.
 In response to changes in Mexican accounting principles, applicable in 1993, related to the cost and liabilities of employee's past services in the pension plans, the company has decided to fully recognize these liabilities in 1992, taking an extraordinary charge to 1992 net income of 385 million new pesos. This takes advantage of the company's extraordinary profits related to the Mineral Waters sale and will eliminate all future charges to income under the pension plan for employee's past services.
 Therefore, net income during the 12-month period was 508 million new pesos or 0.94 new pesos per share based on 541,380,000 average weighted shares outstanding during the period, representing an increase of 10 percent in real terms when compared with that reported during the year ended Dec. 31, 1991. This figure was affected by the extraordinary items mentioned above. As a result, it can not be compared with those of previous years.
 During the year the sale of the mineral water business was finalized for US$325 million, representing a sale at attractive multiples over book value and profits for FEMSA. The resources obtained from this transaction and from the placement of $300 million in Eurobonds were utilized for the payment of short-term debt.
 FEMSA is the largest beverage and packaging company in Mexico, with export positions in the United States and Europe. Founded in 1890, FEMSA produces and distributes name brands of beer including Tecate, Dos XX, Carta Blanca, Bohemia and Superior, and soft drinks, including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Fanta. FEMSA also operates an extensive chain of Oxxo convenience stores throughout Mexico.
 FOMENTO ECONOMICO MEXICANO S.A. DE C.V. AND SUBSIDIARIES
 Consolidated Income Statement
 (Amounts in millions of new pesos of 1992)
 Dec. 31 1992 1991
 Net sales 6,382 6,236
 Other operating revenues 166 75
 Total 6,548 6,311
 Cost of sales 3,659 3,644
 Gross profit 2,889 2,667
 Operating expenses:
 Administrative 984 852
 Selling 1,214 1,148
 Total 2,198 2,000
 Income from operations 691 667
 Integral cost of financing 23 --
 Other expenses, net 91 48
 Income for the year before
 income tax, tax on assets,
 employee profit sharing and
 extraordinary items 577 619
 Income tax, tax on assets and
 employee profit sharing 330 312
 Mineral Water business net income 19 44
 Income before extraordinary items 266 351
 Credit from utilization of tax
 loss carryforward 157 127
 Extraordinary items 85 (18)
 Net income for the year 508 460
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Alfredo Livas or Hernan Miguel of Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A. de C.V., 011-5283-40-10-92, or 011-5283-45-60-05, or Cathleen Mayrose or Cynthia Bluestein of Dewe Rogerson, 212-688-6840, for Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A. de C.V./


CO: Fomento Economico Mexicano S.A. de C.V. ST: IN: FOD SU: ERN

CK-TS -- NY033 -- 2902 03/04/93 10:40 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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