Fomento Economico Mexicano SAB de CV
MEXICAN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INC (Form: 20-F, Received: 06/30/2009 17:14:52)
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 30, 2009.

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM 20-F

 

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008

 

Commission file number 333-08752

 

 

Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Mexican Economic Development, Inc.

(Translation of registrant’s name into English)

 

United Mexican States

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

General Anaya No. 601 Pte.

Colonia Bella Vista

Monterrey, NL 64410 Mexico

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

 

Juan F. Fonseca

General Anaya No. 601 Pte.

Colonia Bella Vista

Monterrey, NL 64410 Mexico

(52-818) 328-6167

[email protected]x

(Name, telephone, e-mail and/or facsimile number and

address of company contact person)

 

 

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant top Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class:          Name of each exchange on which registered
American Depositary Shares, each representing 10 BD Units, and each BD Unit consisting of one Series B Share, two Series D-B Shares and two Series D-L Shares, without par value      New York Stock Exchange

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

None

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

None

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:

 

2,161,177,770    BD Units, each consisting of one Series B Share, two Series D-B Shares and two Series D-L Shares, without par value. The BD Units represent a total of 2,161,177,770 Series B Shares, 4,322,355,540 Series D-B Shares and 4,322,355,540 Series D-L Shares.
1,417,048,500    B Units, each consisting of five Series B Shares without par value. The B Units represent a total of 7,085,242,500 Series B Shares.

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

 

x   Yes    ¨   No

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

 

¨   Yes    x   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). N/A

 

¨   Yes    ¨   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be file by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

 

x   Yes    ¨   No

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large Accelerated filer   x   Accelerated filer   ¨    Non-accelerated filer   ¨

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP   ¨   IFRS   ¨    Other   x

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

 

¨   Item 17    x   Item 18

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

 

¨   Yes    x   No

 

 

 


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

          Page
INTRODUCTION    1
   References    1
   Currency Translations and Estimates    1
   Forward-Looking Information    1
ITEMS 1-2.    NOT APPLICABLE    2
ITEM 3.    KEY INFORMATION    2
   Selected Consolidated Financial Data    2
   Dividends    4
   Exchange Rate Information    6
   Risk Factors    7
   FEMSA Cerveza    10
   FEMSA Comercio    12
ITEM 4.    INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY    17
   The Company    17
   Overview    17
   Corporate Background    17
   Ownership Structure    20
   Significant Subsidiaries    22
   Business Strategy    22
   Coca-Cola FEMSA    23
   FEMSA Cerveza    39
   FEMSA Comercio    51
   Other Business    56
   Description of Property, Plant and Equipment    56
   Insurance    58
   Capital Expenditures and Divestitures    58
   Regulatory Matters    60
ITEM 4A.    UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS    63
ITEM 5.    OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS    63
   Overview of Events, Trends and Uncertainties    63
   Recent Developments    65
   Operating Leverage    66
   Critical Accounting Estimates    66
   New Accounting Pronouncements    71
   Operating Results    75
   Liquidity and Capital Resources    85
   U.S. GAAP Reconciliation    94
ITEM 6.    DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES    95
   Directors    95
   Senior Management    100
   Compensation of Directors and Senior Management    103

 

i


Table of Contents
   EVA Stock Incentive Plan    103
   Insurance Policies    104
   Ownership by Management    104
   Board Practices    104
   Employees    105
ITEM 7.    MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS    107
   Major Shareholders    107
   Related-Party Transactions    108
   Voting Trust    108
   Interest of Management in Certain Transactions    108
   Business Transactions between Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company    109
ITEM 8.    FINANCIAL INFORMATION    110
   Consolidated Financial Statements    110
   Dividend Policy    110
   Legal Proceedings    110
ITEM 9.    THE OFFER AND LISTING    113
   Description of Securities    113
   Trading Markets    114
   Trading on the Mexican Stock Exchange    114
   Price History    115
ITEM 10.    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION    118
   Bylaws    118
   Taxation    125
   Material Contracts    127
   Documents on Display    131
ITEM 11.    QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK    132
   Interest Rate Risk    132
   Foreign Currency Exchange Rate Risk    135
   Equity Risk    138
   Commodity Price Risk    138
ITEMS 12-14.    NOT APPLICABLE    138
ITEM 15.    CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES    138
ITEM 16A.    AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT    140
ITEM 16B.    CODE OF ETHICS    140
ITEM 16C.    PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES    141
ITEM 16D.    NOT APPLICABLE    141
ITEM 16E.    PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS    141
ITEM 16F.    NOT APPLICABLE    142
ITEM 16G.    CORPORATE GOVERNANCE    142

 

ii


Table of Contents
ITEM 17.    NOT APPLICABLE    144
ITEM 18.    FINANCIAL STATEMENTS    144
ITEM 19.    EXHIBITS    145

 

iii


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION

References

The terms “FEMSA,” “our company,” “we,” “us” and “our,” are used in this annual report to refer to Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V. and, except where the context otherwise requires, its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis. We refer to our subsidiary Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V., as “Coca-Cola FEMSA,” our subsidiary FEMSA Cerveza, S.A. de C.V., as “FEMSA Cerveza,” and our subsidiary FEMSA Comercio, S.A. de C.V., as “FEMSA Comercio.”

The term “S.A.B.” stands for Sociedad Anónima Bursátil , which is the term in Mexico used to denominate a publicly traded company under the Mexican Securities Market Law issued in 2006, which we refer to as the Mexican Securities Law.

References to “U.S. dollars,” “US$,” “dollars” or “$” are to the lawful currency of the United States of America. References to “Mexican pesos,” “pesos” or “Ps.” are to the lawful currency of the United Mexican States, or Mexico.

Currency Translations and Estimates

This annual report contains translations of certain Mexican peso amounts into U.S. dollars at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. These translations should not be construed as representations that the Mexican peso amounts actually represent such U.S. dollar amounts or could be converted into U.S. dollars at the rate indicated. Unless otherwise indicated, such U.S. dollar amounts have been translated from Mexican pesos at an exchange rate of Ps. 13.8320 to US$ 1.00, the noon buying rate for Mexican pesos on December 31, 2008 as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. On June 15, 2009, this exchange rate was Ps. 13.4305 to US$ 1.00. See “Item 3. Key Information—Exchange Rate Information” for information regarding exchange rates since January 1, 2004. In our previous public disclosures, we presented U.S. dollar amounts based on the exchange rate quoted by dealers to FEMSA for the settlement of obligations in foreign currencies at the end of the applicable period.

To the extent estimates are contained in this annual report, we believe that such estimates, which are based on internal data, are reliable. Amounts in this annual report are rounded, and the totals may therefore not precisely equal the sum of the numbers presented.

Per capita growth rates and population data have been computed based upon statistics prepared by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática of Mexico (National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information, which we refer to as the Mexican Institute of Statistics), the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the U.S. Federal Reserve Board and Banco de México (Bank of Mexico), local entities in each country and upon our estimates.

Forward-Looking Information

This annual report contains words, such as “believe,” “expect” and “anticipate” and similar expressions that identify forward-looking statements. Use of these words reflects our views about future events and financial performance. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors that may be beyond our control, including but not limited to effects on our company from changes in our relationship with or among our affiliated companies, movements in the prices of raw materials, competition, significant developments in Mexico or international economic or political conditions or changes in our regulatory environment. Accordingly, we caution readers not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. In any event, these statements speak only as of their respective dates, and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any of them, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

1


Table of Contents

ITEMS 1-2. NOT APPLICABLE

 

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

This annual report includes, under Item 18, our audited consolidated balance sheets as of December 31, 2008 and 2007, the related consolidated statements of income and changes in stockholders’ equity for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006, and the consolidated statement of cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2008 and consolidated statement of changes in financial position for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006. Our audited consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with Mexican Financial Reporting Standards ( Normas de Información Financieras ), which differ in certain significant respects from accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or U.S. GAAP.

Notes 26 and 27 to our audited consolidated financial statements provide a description of the principal differences between Mexican Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. GAAP as they relate to our company, together with a reconciliation to U.S. GAAP of net income and stockholders’ equity as well as U.S. GAAP consolidated balance sheets, statements of income, changes in stockholders’ equity and cash flows for the same periods presented for Mexican Financial Reporting Standards purposes. In the reconciliation to U.S. GAAP, we present our subsidiary Coca-Cola FEMSA, which is a consolidated subsidiary for purposes of Mexican Financial Reporting Standards, under the equity method for U.S. GAAP purposes, due to the substantive participating rights of The Coca-Cola Company as a minority shareholder in Coca-Cola FEMSA.

The effects of inflation accounting under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards have not been reversed in the reconciliation to U.S. GAAP. See note 26 to our audited consolidated financial statements.

Beginning on January 1, 2008, in accordance with changes to NIF B-10 under the Mexican Norma de Información Financiera (Financial Reporting Standard, or NIF), we discontinued the use of inflation accounting for our subsidiaries that operate in “non-inflationary” countries where cumulative inflation for the three preceding years was less than 26%. Our subsidiaries in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Colombia and Brazil operate in non-inflationary economic environments, therefore 2008 figures reflect inflation effects only through 2007. Our subsidiaries in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Argentina operate in economic environments in which cumulative inflation during the same three-year period was 26% or greater, and we therefore continue recognizing inflationary accounting for 2008. For comparison purposes, the figures prior to 2008 have been restated in Mexican pesos with purchasing power as of December 31, 2007, taking into account local inflation for each country with reference to the consumer price index. Local currencies have been converted into Mexican pesos using official exchange rates published by the local central bank of each country. See note 3 to our consolidated financial statements.

 

2


Table of Contents

The following table presents selected financial information of our company. This information should be read in conjunction with, and is qualified in its entirety by, our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes to those statements. See “Item 18. Financial Statements.” The selected financial information is presented on a consolidated basis and is not necessarily indicative of our financial position or results of operations at or for any future date or period.

 

     Selected Consolidated Financial Information
Year Ended December 31,
 
     2008 (1)     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004  
     (In millions of U.S. dollars and millions of Mexican pesos, except for percentages, per share
data and weighted average number of shares outstanding)
 

Income Statement Data:

            

Mexican FRS:

            

Total revenues

   $ 12,147      Ps.  168,022      Ps.  147,556      Ps.  136,120      Ps.  119,462      Ps.  109,500   

Income from operations (2)

     1,640        22,684        19,736        18,637        17,601        15,993   

Income taxes (3)

     304        4,207        4,950        4,608        4,620        2,801   

Consolidated net income

     671        9,278        11,936        9,860        9,073        10,729   

Net majority income

     485        6,708        8,511        7,127        5,951        6,917   

Net minority income

     186        2,570        3,425        2,733        3,122        3,812   

Net majority income: (4)

            

Per Series B Share

     0.02        0.33        0.42        0.36        0.31        0.39   

Per Series D Share

     0.03        0.42        0.53        0.44        0.39        0.49   

Weighted average number of shares outstanding (in millions):

            

Series B Shares

     9,246.4        9,246.4        9,246.4        9,246.4        8,834.9        8,217.6   

Series D Shares

     8,644.7        8,644.7        8,644.7        8,644.7        8,260.1        7,683.0   

Allocation of earnings:

            

Series B Shares

     46.11     46.11     46.11     46.11     46.11     46.11

Series D Shares

     53.89     53.89     53.89     53.89     53.89     53.89

U.S. GAAP:

            

Total revenues

   $ 6,626      Ps. 91,650        Ps. 83,362        Ps. 75,704        Ps. 63,031        Ps. 55,557   

Income from operations

     570        7,881        7,667        7,821        6,911        6,011   

Participation in Coca-Cola FEMSA’s earnings (5)

     216        2,994        3,635        2,420        2,205        2,936   

Minority interest

     18        253        (32     169        —          (524

Net income

     495        6,852        8,557        6,973        6,059        7,352   

Net income: (4)

            

Per Series B Share

     0.02        0.34        0.43        0.35        0.32        0.42   

Per Series D Share

     0.03        0.43        0.53        0.43        0.40        0.52   

Weighted average number of shares outstanding (in millions):

            

Series B Shares

     9,246.4        9,246.4        9,246.4        9,246.4        8,834.9        8,217.6   

Series D Shares

     8,644.7        8,644.7        8,644.7        8,644.7        8,260.1        7,683.0   

Balance Sheet Data:

            

Mexican FRS:

            

Total assets

   $ 13,378      Ps. 185,040      Ps. 165,795      Ps. 154,516      Ps. 139,823      Ps. 138,533   

Current liabilities

     3,188        44,094        33,517        28,060        22,510        27,250   

Long-term debt (6)

     2,329        32,210        30,665        35,673        32,129        40,563   

Other long-term liabilities

     856        11,841        11,960        12,575        10,786        10,693   

Capital stock

     387        5,348        5,348        5,348        5,348        4,979   

Total stockholders’ equity

     7,005        96,895        89,653        78,208        74,398        60,027   

Majority interest

     4,975        68,821        64,578        56,654        52,400        40,314   

Minority interest

     2,030        28,074        25,075        21,554        21,998        19,713   

 

3


Table of Contents
     Selected Consolidated Financial Information
Year Ended December 31,
 
     2008 (1)     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004  
     (In millions of U.S. dollars and millions of Mexican pesos, except for percentages, per
share data and weighted average number of shares outstanding)
 

U.S. GAAP:

            

Total assets

   $ 9,898      Ps. 136,914      Ps. 124,775      Ps. 114,693      Ps. 98,869      Ps. 92,613   

Current liabilities

     1,710        23,654        18,579        14,814        10,090        16,997   

Long-term debt (6)

     1,414        19,557        16,569        18,749        15,177        16,254   

Other long-term liabilities

     554        7,661        6,323        7,039        4,996        3,470   

Minority interest

     37        505        698        166        52        56   

Capital stock

     387        5,348        5,348        5,348        5,348        4,979   

Stockholders’ equity

     6,184        85,537        82,606        73,925        68,554        55,836   

Other information:

            

Mexican FRS:

            

Depreciation (7)

   $ 398      Ps. 5,508      Ps. 4,930      Ps. 4,954      Ps. 4,682      Ps. 4,280   

Capital expenditures (8)

     1,029        14,234        11,257        9,422        7,508        7,948   

Operating margin (9)

     13.5     13.5     13.4     13.7     14.7     14.6

U.S. GAAP:

            

Depreciation (7)

   $ 176      Ps. 2,439      Ps. 2,114      Ps. 2,080      Ps. 2,079      Ps. 1,990   

Operating margin (9)

     8.6     8.6     9.2     10.3     11.0     10.8

 

(1) Translation to U.S. dollar amounts at an exchange rate of Ps. 13.8320 to US$ 1.00 solely for the convenience of the reader.

 

(2) In 2008, Mexican Financial Reporting Standard NIF D-3 (“Employee’s Benefits”) requires the presentation of financial expenses related to labor liabilities as part of the integral result of financing, which was previously recorded within operating income. Accordingly, information for prior years has been reclassified for comparability purposes.

 

(3) For 2008, includes income tax, and for 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004 includes income tax and tax on assets. Since 2007, we are required to present employee profit sharing within “other expenses” pursuant to Mexican Financial Reporting Standards Interpretation (INIF) No. 4 “ Presentación en el Estado de Resultados de la Participación de los Trabajadores en la Utilidad ” (Presentation of Employee Profit Sharing in the Income Statement). Information for prior years has been modified for comparability purposes.

 

(4) Net income per share data has been modified retrospectively to reflect our 3:1 stock split effective May 25, 2007.

 

(5) Coca-Cola FEMSA is not consolidated for U.S. GAAP purposes and is recorded under the equity method, as discussed in note 26 (a) to our audited consolidated financial statements.

 

(6) Includes long-term debt minus the current portion of long-term debt.

 

(7) Includes bottle breakage.

 

(8) Includes investments in property, plant and equipment, intangible and other assets.

 

(9) Operating margin is calculated by dividing income from operations by total revenues.

Dividends

We have historically paid dividends per BD Unit (including in the form of ADSs) approximately equal to or greater than 1% of the market price on the date of declaration, subject to changes in our results of operations and financial position, including due to extraordinary economic events and to the factors described in “Risk Factors” that affect our financial condition and liquidity. These factors may affect whether or not dividends are declared and the amount of such dividends. We do not expect to be subject to any contractual restrictions on our ability to pay dividends, although our subsidiaries may be subject to such restrictions. Because we are a holding company with no significant operations of our own, we will have distributable profits and cash to pay dividends only to the extent that we receive dividends from our subsidiaries. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will pay dividends or as to the amount of any dividends.

 

4


Table of Contents

The following table sets forth for each year the nominal amount of dividends per share that we declared in Mexican pesos and the U.S. dollar amounts that were actually paid on each of the respective payment dates for the 2004 to 2008 fiscal years:

 

Date Dividend Paid

   Fiscal Year
with Respect to
which

Dividend
was Declared
   Aggregate Amount
of Dividend
Declared
   Per Series B
Share
Dividend (1)
   Per Series B
Share
Dividend (1)
    Per Series D
Share
Dividend (1)
   Per Series D
Share
Dividend (1)
 

May 31, 2005

   2004    Ps. 659,997,941    Ps. 0.0371    $ 0.0034      Ps. 0.0463    $ 0.0042   

June 15, 2006

   2005    Ps. 986,000,000    Ps. 0.0492    $ 0.0043      Ps. 0.0615    $ 0.0054   

May 15, 2007

   2006    Ps. 1,485,000,000    Ps. 0.0741    $ 0.0069      Ps. 0.0926    $ 0.0086   

May 8, 2008

   2007    Ps. 1,620,000,000    Ps. 0.0807    $ 0.0076      Ps. 0.1009    $ 0.0095   

May 4, 2009 and November 3, 2009 (2)

   2008    Ps. 1,620,000,000           

May 4, 2009

         Ps. 0.0807    $ 0.0061      Ps. 0.1009    $ 0.0076   

November 3, 2009

         Ps. 0.0807      N/a (3)     Ps. 0.1009      N/a (3)  

 

(1) The per series dividend amount has been adjusted for comparability purposes to reflect the 3:1 stock split effective May 25, 2007 by dividing, (a) for 2004, 8,213,220,270 Series B Shares and 7,678,711,080 Series D Shares by the aggregate dividend amount, and (b) for 2005, 2006 and 2007, 9,246,420,270 Series B Shares and 8,644,711,080 Series D Shares, which in each case represents the number of shares outstanding at the date each dividend is declared as adjusted retroactively for prior periods as applicable to reflect the 3:1 stock split.

 

(2) The dividend payment for 2008 was divided into two equal payments. The first payment was paid on May 4, 2009, with a record date of April 30, 2009, and the second payment will be paid on November 3, 2009, with a record date of October 30, 2009.

 

(3) The U.S. dollar amount of the second 2008 dividend payment will be based on the exchange rate on the date of payment, November 3, 2009.

At the annual ordinary general shareholders meeting, the board of directors submits the financial statements of our company for the previous fiscal year, together with a report thereon by the board of directors. Once the holders of Series B Shares have approved the financial statements, they determine the allocation of our net profits for the preceding year. Mexican law requires the allocation of at least 5% of net profits to a legal reserve, which is not subsequently available for distribution, until the amount of the legal reserve equals 20% of our paid in capital stock. Thereafter, the holders of Series B Shares may determine and allocate a certain percentage of net profits to any general or special reserve, including a reserve for open-market purchases of our shares. The remainder of net profits is available for distribution in the form of dividends to our shareholders. Dividends may only be paid if net profits are sufficient to offset losses from prior fiscal years.

Our bylaws provide that dividends will be allocated among the shares outstanding and fully paid at the time a dividend is declared in such manner that each Series D-B Share and Series D-L Share receives 125% of the dividend distributed in respect of each Series B Share. Holders of Series D-B Shares and Series D-L Shares are entitled to this dividend premium in connection with all dividends paid by us other than payments in connection with the liquidation of our company.

Subject to certain exceptions contained in the deposit agreement dated May 11, 2007, among FEMSA, The Bank of New York, as ADS depositary, and holders and beneficial owners from time to time of our American Depositary Shares, or ADSs, evidenced by American Depositary Receipts, any dividends distributed to holders of our ADSs will be paid to the ADS depositary in Mexican pesos and will be converted by the ADS depositary into U.S. dollars. As a result, restrictions on conversion of Mexican pesos into foreign currencies and exchange rate fluctuations may affect the ability of holders of our ADSs to receive U.S. dollars and the U.S. dollar amount actually received by holders of our ADSs.

 

5


Table of Contents

Exchange Rate Information

The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, the high, low, average and period-end noon buying exchange rate published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for cable transfers of pesos per U.S. dollar. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York discontinued the publication of foreign exchange rates on December 31, 2008, and therefore, the data provided for the periods beginning January 1, 2009 is based on the rates published by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board in its H.10 Weekly Release of Foreign Exchange Rates. The rates have not been restated in constant currency units and therefore represent nominal historical figures.

 

Period ended December 31,

   Exchange Rate
   High    Low    Average (1)    Period End

2004

   11.64    10.81    11.29    11.15

2005

   11.41    10.41    10.89    10.63

2006

   11.46    10.43    10.91    10.80

2007

   11.27    10.67    10.93    10.92

2008

   13.94    9.92    11.21    13.83

 

(1) Average month-end rates.

 

     Exchange Rate
     High    Low    Period End

2007:

        

First Quarter

   Ps. 11.18    Ps. 10.77    Ps. 11.04

Second Quarter

     11.03      10.71      10.79

Third Quarter

     11.27      10.73      10.93

Fourth Quarter

     11.00      10.67      10.92

2008:

        

First Quarter

   Ps. 10.97    Ps. 10.63    Ps. 10.63

Second Quarter

     10.60      10.27      10.30

Third Quarter

     10.97      9.92      10.97

Fourth Quarter

     13.94      10.97      13.83

December

     13.83      13.09      13.83

2009:

        

January

   Ps. 14.33    Ps. 13.33    Ps. 14.33

February

     15.09      14.13      15.09

March

     15.41      14.02      14.21

April

     13.89      13.05      13.80

May

     13.83      12.89      13.18

June (1)

     13.64      13.16      13.43

 

(1) Information from June 1 to June 15, 2009.

 

6


Table of Contents

RISK FACTORS

Risks Related to Our Company

Coca-Cola FEMSA

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business depends on its relationship with The Coca-Cola Company, and changes in this relationship may adversely affect its results of operations and financial position.

Approximately 98% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s sales volume in 2008 was derived from sales of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. In each of its territories, Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages through standard bottler agreements. Through its rights under the bottler agreements and as a large shareholder, The Coca-Cola Company has the ability to exercise substantial influence over the conduct of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business.

Under Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreements, The Coca-Cola Company may unilaterally set the price for its concentrate. In 2005, The Coca-Cola Company decided to gradually increase concentrate prices for sparkling beverages over a three-year period in Mexico beginning in 2007 and in Brazil in 2006. These increases have now been fully implemented in Brazil and will be fully implemented in Mexico during 2009. Coca-Cola FEMSA prepares a three-year general business plan that is submitted to its board of directors for approval. The Coca-Cola Company may require that Coca-Cola FEMSA demonstrate its financial ability to meet its plans and may terminate Coca-Cola FEMSA’s rights to produce, market and distribute sparkling beverages in territories with respect to which such approval is withheld. The Coca-Cola Company also makes significant contributions to Coca-Cola FEMSA’s marketing expenses although it is not required to contribute a particular amount. In addition, Coca-Cola FEMSA is prohibited from bottling any sparkling beverages product or distributing other beverages without The Coca-Cola Company’s authorization or consent. Coca-Cola FEMSA may not transfer control of the bottler rights of any of its territories without the consent of The Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola FEMSA depends on The Coca-Cola Company to renew its bottler agreements. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreements for two of its Mexican territories expire in 2013 and for its two other Mexican territories in 2015. These bottler agreements are renewable in each case for ten-year terms. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreement for Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama (other beverages), Costa Rica, Venezuela and Colombia expire on July 31, 2009, pursuant to letters of extension and are renewable by agreement of the parties. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreement for Coca-Cola trademark beverages for Panama has an indefinite term but may be terminated with six months prior written notice by either party. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreement for Argentina expires in 2014. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreement for Brazil expired in December 2004, however, following the purchase of the Refrigerantes Minas Gerais Ltda. (REMIL) territory in Brazil, Coca-Cola FEMSA is negotiating a single bottler agreement for all of Brazil. Coca-Cola FEMSA is currently in the process of negotiating renewals of these agreements on similar terms and conditions as in other countries, and in the meantime Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company are operating under the terms of the existing agreements. There can be no assurances that The Coca-Cola Company will decide to renew any of these agreements, or with respect to the terms and conditions of such renewals. In addition, in the event a material breach of these agreements occurs, the agreements may be terminated. Termination would prevent Coca-Cola FEMSA from selling Coca-Cola trademark beverages in the affected territory and would have an adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business, financial condition, prospects, results of operations and cash flows.

The Coca-Cola Company has substantial influence on the conduct of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business, which may result in Coca-Cola FEMSA taking actions contrary to the interest of its remaining shareholders.

The Coca-Cola Company has significant influence on the conduct of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business. The Coca-Cola Company indirectly owns 31.6% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s outstanding capital stock, representing 37.0% of its capital stock with full voting rights. The Coca-Cola Company is entitled to appoint four of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s 18 directors and certain of its executive officers and, except under limited circumstances, has the power to veto all actions requiring approval by Coca-Cola FEMSA’s board of directors. We are entitled to appoint 11 of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s 18 directors and certain of its executive officers. The Coca-Cola Company, thus may have the

 

7


Table of Contents

power to determine the outcome of certain actions requiring approval by its board of directors and may have the power to determine the outcome of certain actions requiring approval of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s shareholders. See “Item 10. Additional Information—Material Contracts—Coca-Cola FEMSA.” The interests of The Coca-Cola Company may be different from the interests of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s remaining shareholders, which may result in Coca-Cola FEMSA taking actions contrary to the interest of its remaining shareholders.

Coca-Cola FEMSA has significant transactions with affiliates, particularly The Coca-Cola Company, which may create potential conflicts of interest and could result in less favorable terms to Coca-Cola FEMSA.

Coca-Cola FEMSA engages in transactions with subsidiaries of The Coca-Cola Company, including cooperative marketing arrangements and a number of bottler agreements. In addition, Coca-Cola FEMSA has entered into cooperative marketing arrangements with The Coca-Cola Company. The transactions may create potential conflicts of interest, which could result in terms less favorable to Coca-Cola FEMSA than could be obtained from an unaffiliated third party.

Competition could adversely affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s financial performance.

The beverage industry throughout Latin America is highly competitive. Coca-Cola FEMSA faces competition from other bottlers of sparkling beverages such as Pepsi products, and from producers of low cost beverages, or “B brands.” Coca-Cola FEMSA also competes against beverages other than sparkling beverages such as water, fruit juice and sport drinks. Although competitive conditions are different in each of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s territories, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes principally in terms of price, packaging, consumer sale promotions, customer service and non-price retail incentives. There can be no assurances that Coca-Cola FEMSA will be able to avoid lower pricing as a result of competitive pressure. Lower pricing, changes made in response to competition and changes in consumer preferences may have an adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s financial performance.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s principal competitor in Mexico is The Pepsi Bottling Group, or PBG. PBG is the largest bottler of Pepsi products worldwide and competes with Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Coca-Cola FEMSA has also experienced stronger competition in Mexico from lower priced sparkling beverages in larger, multiple serving packaging. In the juice category, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competitor is Jumex, the largest producer in the country, while in the water category, the brand Bonafont , which is owned by Danone, is its main competitor. In Argentina and Brazil, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes with Companhia de Bebidas das Américas, commonly referred to as AmBev, the largest brewer in Latin America and a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev N.V./S.A., commonly referred to as A-B InBev, which sells Pepsi products, in addition to a portfolio that includes local brands with flavors such as guaraná and proprietary beers. In each of its territories, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes with Pepsi bottlers and with various other bottlers and distributors of nationally and regionally advertised sparkling beverages.

Changes in consumer preference could reduce demand for some of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products

The non-alcoholic beverage industry is rapidly evolving as a result of, among other things, changes in consumer preferences. Specifically, consumers are becoming increasingly more aware of and concerned about environmental and health issues. Concerns over the environmental impact of plastic may reduce the consumption of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products sold in plastic bottles or result in additional taxes that would adversely affect consumer demand. In addition, researchers, health advocates and dietary guidelines are encouraging consumers to reduce their consumption of certain types of beverages sweetened with sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which could reduce demand for certain of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products. A reduction in consumer demand would adversely affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s results of operations.

A water shortage or a failure to maintain existing concessions could adversely affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business.

Water is an essential component of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products. Coca-Cola FEMSA obtains water from various sources in its territories, including springs, wells, rivers and municipal water companies. In Mexico, Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases water from municipal water companies and pumps water from wells pursuant to

 

8


Table of Contents

concessions granted by the Mexican government. Coca-Cola FEMSA obtains the vast majority of the water used in its sparkling beverage production in Mexico pursuant to these concessions, which the Mexican government granted based on studies of the existing and projected groundwater supply. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s existing water concessions in Mexico may be terminated by governmental authorities under certain circumstances and their renewal depends on receiving necessary authorizations from municipal and/or federal water authorities. See “Item 4—Information on the Company—Regulatory Matters—Water Supply Law.” In some of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s other territories, its existing water supply may not be sufficient to meet its future production needs and the available water supply may be adversely affected by shortages or changes in governmental regulations.

Coca-Cola FEMSA cannot assure you that water will be available in sufficient quantities to meet its future production needs or will prove sufficient to meet its water supply needs.

Increases in the prices of raw materials would increase Coca-Cola FEMSA’s cost of sales and may adversely affect its results of operations.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s most significant raw materials are concentrate, which it acquires from affiliates of The Coca-Cola Company, packaging materials and sweeteners. Prices for concentrate are determined by The Coca-Cola Company pursuant to Coca-Cola FEMSA’s bottler agreements as a percentage of the weighted average retail price in local currency, net of applicable taxes. In 2005, The Coca-Cola Company decided to gradually increase concentrate prices for sparkling beverages over a three-year period in Mexico, which began in 2007 and in Brazil in 2006. These increases have now been fully implemented in Brazil and will be fully implemented in Mexico during 2009. The prices for Coca-Cola FEMSA’s remaining raw materials are driven by market prices and local availability as well as the imposition of import duties and import restrictions and fluctuations in exchange rates. Coca-Cola FEMSA is also required to meet all of its supply needs from suppliers approved by The Coca-Cola Company, which may limit the number of suppliers available to it. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s sales prices are denominated in the local currency in which it operates, while the prices of certain materials, including those used in the bottling of its products (mainly high fructose corn syrup and resin and ingots used to make plastic bottles, finished plastic bottles and aluminum cans), are paid in or determined with reference to the U.S. dollar. These prices may increase if the U.S. dollar appreciates against the currency of any country in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates, which occurred in 2008. See “Item 4—Information on the Company—Coca-Cola FEMSA—Raw Materials.”

After concentrate, packaging materials and sweeteners constitute the largest portion of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s raw material costs. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s most significant packaging raw material costs arise from the purchase of resin and plastic ingots to make plastic bottles and from the purchase of finished plastic bottles, the prices of which are tied to crude oil prices and global resin supply. The average U.S. dollar prices Coca-Cola FEMSA paid for resin decreased significantly in 2008, although prices may increase in future periods. Sugar prices in all of the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates, other than Brazil, are subject to local regulations and other barriers to market entry that cause it to pay in excess of international market prices for sugar. In addition, sugar prices have been somewhat volatile over the past few years, and although market prices decreased in Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main markets, they may again increase in a manner we cannot predict. In Venezuela, Coca-Cola FEMSA has experienced sugar shortages that have adversely affected its operations. These shortages were due to insufficient domestic production to meet demand and current restrictions on sugar imports.

Coca-Cola FEMSA cannot assure you that its raw material prices will not further increase in the future. Increases in the prices of raw materials would increase Coca-Cola FEMSA’s cost of sales and adversely affect its results of operations.

Taxes on soft drinks could adversely affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products are subject to certain taxes in many of the countries in which it operates. The imposition of new taxes or increases in taxes on its products may have a material adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business, financial condition, prospects and results of operations. Certain countries in Central America, Argentina and Brazil impose taxes on sparkling beverages. We cannot assure you that any governmental authority in any country where Coca-Cola FEMSA operates will not impose or increase taxes on its products in the future.

 

9


Table of Contents

Regulatory developments may adversely affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business.

Coca-Cola FEMSA is subject to regulation in each of the territories in which it operates. The principal areas in which Coca-Cola FEMSA is subject to regulation are environment, labor, taxation, health and antitrust. These regulations can also affect Coca-Cola FEMSA’s ability to set prices for its products. The adoption of new laws or regulations in the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates may increase its operating costs or impose restrictions on its operations, which in turn, may adversely affect its financial condition, business and results of operations. In particular, environmental standards are becoming more stringent in several of the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates and Coca-Cola FEMSA is in the process of complying with these standards. Further changes in current regulations may result in an increase in compliance costs, which may have an adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s future results of operations or financial condition.

Voluntary price restraints or statutory price controls have been imposed historically in several of the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates. The imposition of these restrictions in the future may have an adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s results of operations and financial position. Although Mexican bottlers have been free to set prices for sparkling beverages without governmental intervention since January 1996, such prices had been subject to statutory price controls and to voluntary price restraints, which effectively limited Coca-Cola FEMSA’s ability to increase prices in the Mexican market without governmental consent. We cannot assure that governmental authorities in any country where Coca-Cola FEMSA operates will not impose statutory price controls or voluntary price restraints in the future.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s operations have from time to time been subject to investigations and proceedings by antitrust authorities and litigation relating to alleged anticompetitive practices. See “Item 8. Financial Information—Legal Proceedings.” We cannot assure you that these investigations and proceedings will not have an adverse effect on Coca-Cola FEMSA’s results of operations or financial condition.

FEMSA Cerveza

Unfavorable economic conditions in Mexico, Brazil or the United States may adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business.

Demand for the products of FEMSA Cerveza may be affected by economic conditions in Mexico, Brazil and the United States. In particular, demand in northern Mexico, where there are a large number of border towns, may be disproportionately affected by the performance of the United States’ economy, although demand in northern Mexico held steady in 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. In addition, FEMSA Cerveza’s exports to the United States may be affected by reduced demand from the United States or from a reduction in prices by its competitors.

Any depreciation of the Mexican peso may negatively affect FEMSA Cerveza’s results of operations because a significant portion of its costs and expenses are denominated in, or determined by reference to, the U.S. dollar. In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza’s cost of sales increased 9.6% compared to 2007, in part as a result of the effect of the depreciation of the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar on FEMSA Cerveza’s U.S. dollar-referenced costs and expenses.

Uncertainty in commodity prices of raw materials used by FEMSA Cerveza may result in increased costs and adversely affect its results of operations.

FEMSA Cerveza purchases a number of commodities for the production of its products (principally aluminum, barley, malt and hops) from Mexican producers and in the international market. The prices of such commodities can fluctuate and are determined by global supply and demand and other factors, including changes in exchange rates, over which FEMSA Cerveza has no control. Market prices for aluminum worldwide have been particularly volatile since the second half of 2008, and the other commodities we purchase have also been affected by this volatility. Aluminum average U.S. dollar prices paid by FEMSA Cerveza in 2008 were stable compared to 2007.

 

10


Table of Contents

In addition, because aluminum prices are denominated in U.S. dollars, an appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Mexican peso increases the cost to FEMSA Cerveza of aluminum as a percentage of net sales, as its sales are generally in Mexican pesos. In spite of grain and aluminum price declines in the international markets in the second half of the year, FEMSA Cerveza’s average prices for certain commodities were higher than market spot prices due to hedging agreements implemented at the beginning of the year consistent with its risk management approach. Average grain prices in U.S. dollars for FEMSA Cerveza increased over 35% in 2008, which led to a decrease in its results on operations. There can be no assurance that FEMSA Cerveza will be able to recover increases in the cost of raw materials. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—FEMSA Cerveza—Raw Materials.” A further increase in raw material costs would adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s results of operations and cash flows.

FEMSA Cerveza’s sales in the United States depend on distribution arrangements with Heineken USA.

Heineken USA Inc., or Heineken USA, is the exclusive importer, marketer and distributor of FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States. In April 2007, FEMSA Cerveza and Heineken USA entered into a new ten-year agreement, which began in January 2008, pursuant to which Heineken USA will continue to be the exclusive importer, marketer and distributor of FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States. Accordingly, FEMSA Cerveza’s exports to the United States depend to a significant extent on Heineken USA’s performance under these agreements. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospectus—Recent Developments.” We cannot assure that Heineken USA will be able to maintain or increase sales of FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States, nor that when the new agreement expires in December of 2017, FEMSA Cerveza will be able to renew the agreement or enter into a substitute arrangement on comparable terms.

FEMSA Cerveza’s sales in the Mexican market depend on its ability to compete with Grupo Modelo.

FEMSA Cerveza faces competition in the Mexican beer market from Grupo Modelo, S.A.B. de C.V., or Grupo Modelo. FEMSA Cerveza’s ability to compete successfully in the Mexican beer market will have a significant impact on its Mexican sales. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—FEMSA Cerveza—The Mexican Beer Market.”

FEMSA Cerveza’s sales in the Brazilian market depend on its ability to compete with AmBev and local brewers.

FEMSA Cerveza faces competition in the Brazilian beer market from AmBev, which is 61.8% owned by A-B InBev, the largest beer producer in the world, as well as from Grupo Schincariol and Cervejarias Petropolis. FEMSA Cerveza’s ability to compete successfully in the Brazilian beer market will have a significant impact on its Brazilian sales. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—FEMSA Cerveza—The Brazilian Beer Market.”

Competition from imports in the Mexican beer market is increasing and may adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business.

Imports represented 2.4% of the Mexican beer market in terms of sales volume in 2008. Increased import competition, however, could result from potential new entrants to the Mexican beer market or from a change in consumer preferences in Mexico and could lead to greater competition in general, which may adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business, financial position and results of operations. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—FEMSA Cerveza—The Mexican Beer Market.”

Regulatory developments in our main markets could adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business.

FEMSA Cerveza’s business is subject to a variety of different government regulations in our key markets of Mexico, Brazil and the United States, and thus may be affected by changes in law, regulation or regulatory policy. Particularly in Mexico, actions of federal and local authorities, specifically changes in governmental policy with respect to excise and value-added tax laws, regulations for alcoholic beverages, including advertising, and governmental actions relating to the beer industry practice of financing and bringing support to the point of sale through agreements or arrangements with retailers to sell and promote a beer producer’s products, may have a material adverse effect on FEMSA Cerveza’s business, financial position and results of operations.

 

11


Table of Contents

Federal regulation of beer consumption in Mexico is primarily effected through a 25% excise tax, which includes an alternative minimum Mexican peso amount of Ps. 3.00 per liter for non-returnable presentations and Ps. 1.74 per liter for returnable presentations, and a 15% value-added tax. Currently, we do not anticipate an increase in these taxes, but federal regulation relating to excise taxes may change in the future, resulting in an increase or decrease in the tax. Local regulations are primarily effected through the issuance of licenses authorizing retailers to sell alcoholic beverages. Other regulations affecting beer consumption in Mexico vary according to local jurisdictions and include limitations on the hours during which restaurants, bars and other retail outlets are allowed to sell beer. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—FEMSA Cerveza—The Mexican Beer Market.”

FEMSA Cerveza may not be able to improve performance in its Brazilian operations.

FEMSA Cerveza owns 83% of Brazilian brewer Cervejarias Kaiser Brasil S.A., or Kaiser. Prior to the acquisition of Kaiser, Kaiser’s profitability and market position had declined as a result of operational changes by its prior owner and increased competition in the Brazilian beer market. Kaiser’s operating margins are therefore lower than those of FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican operations. Because most of the raw materials Kaiser purchases are denominated in U.S. dollars and Kaiser derives all of its revenues in Brazilian reais, an appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Brazilian reais would increase the real cost of raw materials to Kaiser, which occurred in 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. Additionally, since 2008, Kaiser has experienced significant increases in raw material U.S. dollar prices. FEMSA Cerveza continues to be in the process of implementing a number of initiatives to seek to improve Kaiser’s performance, where market conditions differ significantly from Mexico. FEMSA Cerveza’s initiatives may not be successful in improving Kaiser’s performance, which would adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s sales growth and operating margins.

A water supply shortage could adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business.

FEMSA Cerveza purchases water from Mexican government entities and obtains pump water from its own wells pursuant to concessions granted by the Mexican government.

FEMSA Cerveza believes that its water concessions will satisfy its current and future water requirements. We cannot assure you, however, that isolated periods of adverse weather will not affect FEMSA Cerveza’s supply of water to meet its future production needs in any given period, or that its concessions will not be terminated or will be renewed by the Mexican government. Any of these events or actions may adversely affect FEMSA Cerveza’s business, financial position and results of operations.

FEMSA Comercio

Competition from other retailers in Mexico could adversely affect FEMSA Comercio’s business.

The Mexican retail sector is highly competitive. FEMSA participates in the retail sector primarily through FEMSA Comercio. FEMSA Comercio’s OXXO convenience stores face competition on a regional basis from 7-Eleven, Super Extra which is owned and managed by Grupo Modelo, our main competitor in the Mexican beer market, Super City, AM/PM and Circle K stores. OXXO convenience stores also face competition from numerous small chains of retailers across Mexico. In the future, OXXO stores may face additional competition from other retailers that do not currently participate in the convenience store sector or from new market entrants. Increased competition may limit the number of new locations available to FEMSA Comercio and require FEMSA Comercio to modify its product offering or pricing. In addition, consumers may prefer alternative products or store formats offered by competitors. As a result, FEMSA Comercio’s results of operations and financial position may be adversely affected by competition in the future.

 

12


Table of Contents

Sales of OXXO convenience stores may be adversely affected by changes in economic conditions in Mexico.

Convenience stores often sell certain products at a premium. The convenience store market is thus highly sensitive to economic conditions, since an economic slowdown is often accompanied by a decline in consumer purchasing power, which in turn results in a decline in the overall consumption of FEMSA Comercio’s main product categories. During periods of economic slowdown, OXXO stores may experience a decline in traffic per store and purchases per customer, and this may result in a decline in FEMSA Comercio’s results of operations.

FEMSA Comercio may not be able to maintain its historic growth rate.

FEMSA Comercio increased the number of OXXO stores at an average annual rate of 16% from 2004 to 2008. The growth in the number of OXXO stores has driven growth in total revenue and operating income at FEMSA Comercio over the same period. As the overall number of stores increases, percentage growth in the number of OXXO stores is likely to decrease. In addition, as convenience store penetration in Mexico grows, the number of viable new store locations may decrease, and new store locations may be less favorable in terms of same store sales, average ticket and store traffic. As a result, FEMSA Comercio’s future results of operations and financial condition may not be consistent with prior periods and may be characterized by lower growth rates in terms of total revenue and operating income.

Risks Related to Our Principal Shareholders and Capital Structure

A majority of our voting shares are held by a voting trust, which effectively controls the management of our company, and whose interests may differ from those of other shareholders.

As of May 29, 2009, a voting trust, the participants of which are members of five families, owned 38.69% of our capital stock and 74.86% of our capital stock with full voting rights, consisting of the Series B Shares. Consequently, the voting trust has the power to elect a majority of the members of our board of directors and to play a significant or controlling role in the outcome of substantially all matters to be decided by our board of directors or our shareholders. The interests of the voting trust may differ from those of our other shareholders. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions” and “Item 10. Additional Information—Bylaws—Voting Rights and Certain Minority Rights.”

Holders of Series D-B and D-L Shares have limited voting rights.

Holders of Series D-B and D-L Shares have limited voting rights and are only entitled to vote on specific matters, such as certain changes in the form of our corporate organization, dissolutions, liquidations, a merger with a company with a distinct corporate purpose, a merger in which we are not the surviving entity, a change of our jurisdiction of incorporation, the cancellation of the registration of the Series D-B and D-L Shares and any other matters that expressly require approval from such holders under the Mexican Securities Law. As a result of these limited voting rights, Series D-B and D-L holders will not be able to influence our business or operations. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—Major Shareholders” and “Item 10. Additional Information—Bylaws—Voting Rights and Certain Minority Rights.”

Holders of ADSs may not be able to vote at our shareholder meetings.

Our shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE, in the form of ADSs. We cannot assure you that holders of our shares in the form of ADSs will receive notice of shareholders’ meetings from our ADS depositary in sufficient time to enable such holders to return voting instructions to the ADS depositary in a timely manner. In the event that instructions are not received with respect to any shares underlying ADSs, the ADS depositary will, subject to certain limitations, grant a proxy to a person designated by us in respect of these shares. In the event that this proxy is not granted, the ADS depositary will vote these shares in the same manner as the majority of the shares of each class for which voting instructions are received.

 

13


Table of Contents

Holders of BD Units in the United States and holders of ADSs may not be able to participate in any future preemptive rights offering and as a result may be subject to dilution of their equity interests.

Under applicable Mexican law, if we issue new shares for cash as a part of a capital increase, other than in connection with a public offering of newly issued shares or treasury stock, we are generally required to grant our shareholders the right to purchase a sufficient number of shares to maintain their existing ownership percentage. Rights to purchase shares in these circumstances are known as preemptive rights. We may not legally allow holders of our shares or ADSs who are located in the United States to exercise any preemptive rights in any future capital increases unless (1) we file a registration statement with the SEC with respect to that future issuance of shares or (2) the offering qualifies for an exemption from the registration requirements of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933. At the time of any future capital increase, we will evaluate the costs and potential liabilities associated with filing a registration statement with the SEC, as well as the benefits of preemptive rights to holders of our shares in the form of ADSs in the United States and any other factors that we consider important in determining whether to file a registration statement.

We may decide not to file a registration statement with the SEC to allow holders of our shares or ADSs who are located in the United States to participate in a preemptive rights offering. In addition, under current Mexican law, the sale by the ADS depositary of preemptive rights and the distribution of the proceeds from such sales to the holders of our shares in the form of ADSs is not possible. As a result, the equity interest of holders of our shares in the form of ADSs would be diluted proportionately. See “Item 10. Additional Information—Bylaws—Preemptive Rights.”

The protections afforded to minority shareholders in Mexico are different from those afforded to minority shareholders in the United States.

Under Mexican law, the protections afforded to minority shareholders are different from, and may be less than, those afforded to minority shareholders in the United States. Mexican laws do not provide a remedy to shareholders relating to violations of fiduciary duties. There is no procedure for class actions as such actions are conducted in the United States and there are different procedural requirements for bringing shareholder lawsuits against directors for the benefit of companies. Therefore, it may be more difficult for minority shareholders to enforce their rights against us, our directors or our controlling shareholders than it would be for minority shareholders of a United States company.

Investors may experience difficulties in enforcing civil liabilities against us or our directors, officers and controlling persons.

FEMSA is organized under the laws of Mexico, and most of our directors, officers and controlling persons reside outside the United States. In addition, all or a substantial portion of our assets and their respective assets are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for investors to effect service of process within the United States on such persons or to enforce judgments against them, including any action based on civil liabilities under the U.S. federal securities laws. There is doubt as to the enforceability against such persons in Mexico, whether in original actions or in actions to enforce judgments of U.S. courts, of liabilities based solely on the U.S. federal securities laws.

Developments in other countries may adversely affect the market for our securities.

The market value of securities of Mexican companies is, to varying degrees, influenced by economic and securities market conditions in other emerging market countries. Although economic conditions are different in each country, investors’ reaction to developments in one country can have effects on the securities of issuers in other countries, including Mexico. We cannot assure you that events elsewhere, especially in emerging markets, will not adversely affect the market value of our securities.

 

14


Table of Contents

The failure or inability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends or other distributions to us may adversely affect us and our ability to pay dividends to holders of ADSs.

FEMSA is a holding company. Accordingly, FEMSA’s cash flows are principally derived from dividends, interest and other distributions made to FEMSA by its subsidiaries. Currently, FEMSA’s subsidiaries do not have contractual obligations that require them to pay dividends to FEMSA. In addition, debt and other contractual obligations of our subsidiaries may in the future impose restrictions on our subsidiaries’ ability to make dividend or other payments to FEMSA, which in turn may adversely affect FEMSA’s ability to pay dividends to shareholders and meet its debt and other obligations.

Risks Related to Mexico and the Other Countries in Which We Operate

Adverse economic conditions in Mexico may adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

We are a Mexican corporation, and our Mexican operations are our single most important geographic territory. For the year ended December 31, 2008, 66% of our consolidated total revenues were attributable to Mexico. The Mexican economy is currently experiencing a downturn as a result of the impact of the global financial crisis on many emerging economies during the second half of last year. In the first quarter of 2009, Mexican gross domestic product, or GDP, contracted by approximately 3.3% on an annualized basis compared to the same period in 2008. The Mexican economy continues to be heavily influenced by the U.S. economy, and therefore, further deterioration in economic conditions in, or delays in recovery of, the U.S. economy may hinder any recovery in Mexico. In the past, Mexico has experienced both prolonged periods of weak economic conditions and deteriorations in economic conditions that have had a negative impact on our results of operations. Given the global macroeconomic downturn in 2008 and 2009, which also affected the Mexican economy, we cannot assure you that such conditions will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial position.

Our business may be significantly affected by the general condition of the Mexican economy, or by the rate of inflation in Mexico, interest rates in Mexico and exchange rates for, or exchange controls affecting, the Mexican peso. Decreases in the growth rate of the Mexican economy, periods of negative growth and/or increases in inflation or interest rates may result in lower demand for our products, lower real pricing of our products or a shift to lower margin products. Because a large percentage of our costs and expenses are fixed, we may not be able to reduce costs and expenses upon the occurrence of any of these events, and our profit margins may suffer as a result.

In addition, an increase in interest rates in Mexico would increase the cost to us of variable rate debt, which constituted 45% of our total debt as of December 31, 2008 (including the effect of interest rate swaps), and have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations. During 2008, due to constraints in the international credit market and limited credit availability in the international markets, as well as changes in the currency mix of our debt, our weighted average interest rate increased by 70 basis points.

Depreciation of the Mexican peso relative to the U.S. dollar could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.

A depreciation of the Mexican peso relative to the U.S. dollar increases the cost to us of a portion of the raw materials we acquire, the price of which is paid in or determined with reference to U.S. dollars, and of our debt obligations denominated in U.S. dollars and thereby negatively affects our financial position and results of operations. A severe devaluation or depreciation of the Mexican peso may result in disruption of the international foreign exchange markets and may limit our ability to transfer or to convert Mexican pesos into U.S. dollars and other currencies for the purpose of making timely payments of interest and principal on our U.S. dollar-denominated debt or obligations in other currencies. Although the value of the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar had been fairly stable since 2004, in the fourth quarter of 2008 and continuing into 2009, the Mexican peso depreciated approximately 25% compared to 2007 as a result of uncertainty in the international markets and the downturn in the U.S. economy.

 

15


Table of Contents

While the Mexican government does not currently restrict, and since 1982 has not restricted, the right or ability of Mexican or foreign persons or entities to convert Mexican pesos into U.S. dollars or to transfer other currencies out of Mexico, the Mexican government could institute restrictive exchange rate policies in the future, as it has done in the past. Currency fluctuations may have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows in future periods.

When the financial markets are volatile, as they have been in recent periods, our results of operations may be substantially affected by variations in exchange rates and commodity prices, and to a lesser degree, interest rates. These effects include foreign exchange gain and loss on assets and liabilities denominated in U.S. dollars, fair value gain and loss on derivative financial instruments, commodities prices and changes in interest income and interest expense. These effects can be much more volatile than our operating performance and our operating cash flows.

Political events in Mexico could adversely affect our operations.

Mexican political events may significantly affect our operations. Presidential elections in Mexico occur every six years, and the most recent election occurred in July 2006. Elections in both houses of the Mexican Congress also occurred in July 2006, and although the Partido Acción Nacional won a plurality of the seats in the Mexican Congress in the election, no party succeeded in securing a majority in either chamber of the Mexican Congress. The absence of a clear majority by a single party is likely to continue even after the next Cámara de Diputados (House of Representatives) election in 2009. This situation may result in government gridlock and political uncertainty. We cannot provide any assurances that political developments in Mexico, over which we have no control, will not have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Economic and political conditions in other Latin American countries in which we operate may adversely affect our business.

In addition to conducting operations in Mexico, our subsidiary Coca-Cola FEMSA conducts operations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina and, beginning in 2006, our subsidiary FEMSA Cerveza also conducts operations in Brazil. These countries expose us to different or greater country risk than Mexico. Consumer demand, preferences, real prices and the costs of raw materials are heavily influenced by macroeconomic and political conditions in the other countries in which we operate. These conditions vary by country and may not be correlated to conditions in our Mexican operations. In particular, Brazil and Colombia have a history of economic volatility and political instability, although more recently they benefited from high growth rates and relative economic stability in recent periods. In Venezuela, Coca-Cola FEMSA faces exchange risk as well as work stoppages and potential scarcity of raw materials. Coca-Cola FEMSA has also experienced short-term disruptions in its business in Venezuela over the past few years. Deterioration in economic and political conditions in many of these countries would have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.

Total revenues increased in certain of our non-Mexican beverage operations at a higher rate relative to their respective Mexican operations in 2008. This higher rate of total revenue growth could result in a greater contribution to the respective results of operations for these territories, but may also expose us to greater risk in these territories as a result. In 2008, devaluation of the local currencies against the U.S. dollar in our non-Mexican territories increased our operating costs in these countries, and depreciation of the local currencies against the Mexican peso negatively affected our results of operations for these countries, as reported in our consolidated financial statements. In recent years, the value of the currency in the countries in which we operate had been relatively stable. However, in 2008, as a result of uncertainty in the international markets and the downturn in the U.S. economy, these currencies depreciated significantly against the U.S. dollar. Future currency devaluation or the imposition of exchange controls in any of these countries, including Mexico, would have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations.

 

16


Table of Contents
ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

The Company

Overview

We are a Mexican company headquartered in Monterrey, Mexico, and our origin dates back to 1890. Our company was incorporated on May 30, 1936 and has a duration of 99 years. Our legal name is Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V., and in commercial contexts we frequently refer to ourselves as FEMSA. Our principal executive offices are located at General Anaya No. 601 Pte., Colonia Bella Vista, Monterrey, Nuevo León 64410, Mexico. Our telephone number at this location is (52-81) 8328-6000. Our website is www.femsa.com. We are organized as a sociedad anónima bursátil de capital variable under the laws of Mexico.

We conduct our operations through the following principal holding companies, each of which we refer to as a principal sub-holding company:

 

   

Coca-Cola FEMSA, which engages in the production, distribution and marketing of soft drinks;

 

   

FEMSA Cerveza, which engages in the production, distribution and marketing of beer; and

 

   

FEMSA Comercio, which operates convenience stores.

Corporate Background

FEMSA traces its origins to the establishment of Mexico’s first brewery, Cervecería Cuauhtémoc, S.A. de C.V., which we refer to as Cuauhtémoc, that was founded in 1890 by four Monterrey businessmen: Francisco G. Sada, José A. Muguerza, Isaac Garza and José M. Schneider. Descendants of certain of the founders of Cuauhtémoc control our company.

In 1891, the first year of production, Cuauhtémoc produced 2,000 hectoliters of beer. Cuauhtémoc continued to expand through additions to existing plant capacity and through acquisitions of other Mexican breweries, and has continued to increase its production capacity in Mexico, reaching approximately 37.080 million hectoliters in 2008.

The strategic integration of our company dates back to 1936 when our packaging operations were established to supply crown caps to the brewery. During this period, these operations were part of what was known as the Monterrey Group, which also included interests in banking, steel and other packaging operations.

In 1974, the Monterrey Group was split between two branches of the descendants of the founding families of Cuauhtémoc. The steel and other packaging operations formed the basis for the creation of Corporación Siderúrgica, S.A. (later Alfa, S.A.B. de C.V.), controlled by the Garza Sada family, and the beverage and banking operations were consolidated under the FEMSA corporate umbrella, controlled by the Garza Lagüera family. FEMSA’s shares were first listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange on September 19, 1978. Between 1977 and 1981, FEMSA diversified its operations through acquisitions in the soft drinks and mineral water industries, the establishment of the first convenience stores under the trade name OXXO and other investments in the hotel, construction, auto parts, food and fishing industries, which were considered non-core businesses and were subsequently divested.

In August 1982, the Mexican government suspended payment on its international debt obligations and nationalized the Mexican banking system. In 1985, certain controlling shareholders of FEMSA acquired a controlling interest in Cervecería Moctezuma, S.A., which was then Mexico’s third-largest brewery and which we refer to as Moctezuma, and related companies in the packaging industry. FEMSA subsequently undertook an extensive corporate and financial restructuring that was completed in December 1988, and pursuant to which FEMSA’s assets were combined under a single corporate entity, which became Grupo Industrial Emprex, S.A. de C.V., which we refer to as Emprex.

 

17


Table of Contents

In October 1991, certain majority shareholders of FEMSA acquired a controlling interest in Bancomer, S.A., which we refer to as Bancomer. The investment in Bancomer was undertaken as part of the Mexican government’s reprivatization of the banking system, which had been nationalized in 1982. The Bancomer acquisition was financed in part by a subscription by Emprex’s shareholders, including FEMSA, of shares in Grupo Financiero Bancomer, S.A. de C.V. (currently Grupo Financiero BBVA Bancomer, S.A. de C.V.), which we refer to as BBVA Bancomer, the Mexican financial services holding company that was formed to hold a controlling interest in Bancomer. In February 1992, FEMSA offered Emprex’s shareholders the opportunity to exchange the BBVA Bancomer shares to which they were entitled for Emprex shares owned by FEMSA. In August 1996, the shares of BBVA Bancomer that were received by FEMSA in the exchange with Emprex’s shareholders were distributed as a dividend to FEMSA’s shareholders.

Upon the completion of these transactions, we began a series of strategic transactions to strengthen the competitive positions of our operating subsidiaries. These transactions included the sale of a 30% strategic interest in Coca-Cola FEMSA to a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company and a subsequent public offering of Coca-Cola FEMSA shares, both of which occurred in 1993, and the sale of a 22% strategic interest in FEMSA Cerveza to Labatt Brewing Company Limited, which we refer to as Labatt, in 1994. Labatt, which was later acquired by InBev S.A., or InBev (known at the time of the acquisition of Labatt as Interbrew and currently referred to as A-B InBev), subsequently increased its interest in FEMSA Cerveza to 30%.

In 1998, we completed a reorganization that:

 

   

simplified our capital structure by converting our outstanding capital stock at the time of the reorganization into BD Units and B Units, and

 

   

united the shareholders of FEMSA and the former shareholders of Emprex at the same corporate level through an exchange offer that was consummated on May 11, 1998.

As part of the reorganization, FEMSA listed ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange representing BD Units, and listed the BD Units and its B Units on the Mexican Stock Exchange.

In May 2003, our subsidiary Coca-Cola FEMSA expanded its operations throughout Latin America by acquiring 100% of Panamco México, S.A. de C.V, which we refer to as Panamco, then the largest soft drink bottler in Latin America in terms of sales volume in 2002. Through its acquisition of Panamco, Coca-Cola FEMSA began producing and distributing Coca-Cola trademark beverages in additional territories in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, along with bottled water, beer and other beverages in some of these territories. The Coca-Cola Company and its subsidiaries received Series D Shares in exchange for their equity interest in Panamco of approximately 25%.

On August 31, 2004, we consummated a series of transactions with InBev, Labatt and certain of their affiliates to terminate the existing arrangements between FEMSA Cerveza and Labatt. As a result of these transactions, FEMSA acquired 100% ownership of FEMSA Cerveza and previously existing arrangements among affiliates of FEMSA and InBev relating to governance, transfer of ownership and other matters with respect to FEMSA Cerveza were terminated.

On June 1, 2005, we consummated an equity offering of 80.5 million BD Units (including BD Units in the form of ADSs) and 52.78 million B units that resulted in net proceeds to us of US$ 700 million after underwriting spreads and commissions. We used the proceeds of the equity offering to refinance indebtedness incurred in connection with the transactions with InBev, Labatt and certain of their affiliates.

On January 13, 2006, FEMSA Cerveza, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired 68% of the equity of the Brazilian brewer Kaiser from the Molson Coors Brewing Company, or Molson Coors, for US$ 68 million. Molson Coors retained a 15% ownership stake in Kaiser, while Heineken N.V.’s ownership of 17% remained unchanged. In December 2006, Molson Coors completed its exit from Kaiser by exercising its option to sell its 15% holding to FEMSA Cerveza. On December 22, 2006, FEMSA Cerveza made a capital increase of US$ 200 million in Kaiser. At the time, Heineken N.V. elected not to participate in the increase, thereby diluting its 17% interest in Kaiser to

 

18


Table of Contents

0.17%, and FEMSA Cerveza thereby increasing its stake to 99.83% of the equity of Kaiser, however, in August 2007, Femsa Cerveza and Heineken NV closed a stock purchase agreement whereby Heineken NV purchased the shares necessary to regain its 17% interest in Kaiser. As a result of this transaction, FEMSA Cerveza now owns 83% of Kaiser and Heineken NV owns 17%.

On November 3, 2006, we acquired from certain subsidiaries of The Coca-Cola Company 148,000,000 Series “D” shares of Coca-Cola FEMSA, representing 8.02% of the total outstanding stock of Coca-Cola FEMSA. We acquired these shares at a price of US$ 2.888 per share, or US$ 427.4 million in the aggregate, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding with The Coca-Cola Company. As of May 29, 2009, FEMSA indirectly owns 53.7% of the capital stock of Coca-Cola FEMSA (63.0% of its capital stock with full voting rights) and The Coca-Cola Company indirectly owns 31.6% of the capital stock of Coca-Cola FEMSA (37.0% of its capital stock with full voting rights). The remaining 14.7% of its capital consists of Series L Shares with limited voting rights, which trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange in the form of ADSs under the trading symbol KOF.

In March 2007, at our company’s annual meeting, our shareholders approved a three-for-one stock split of FEMSA’s outstanding stock and our ADSs traded on the NYSE. The pro rata stock split had no effect on the ownership structure of FEMSA. The new units issued in the stock split were distributed by the Mexican Stock Exchange on May 28, 2007 to holders of record as of May 25, 2007, and ADSs traded on the NYSE were distributed on May 30, 2007, to holders of record as of May 25, 2007.

On November 8, 2007, Administración, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (Administración), a Mexican company owned indirectly by Coca-Cola FEMSA and by The Coca-Cola Company, acquired 58,350,908 shares representing 100% of the shares of the capital stock of Jugos del Valle, for US$ 370 million in cash, with assumed liabilities of US$ 86 million. On June 30, 2008, Administración and Jugos del Valle merged, and Jugos del Valle became the surviving entity. Subsequent to the initial acquisition of Jugos del Valle, Coca-Cola FEMSA offered to sell 30% of its interest in Administración to other Coca-Cola bottlers in Mexico. As a result, of December 31, 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA has a recorded investment of approximately 20% of the capital stock of Jugos del Valle. In December 2008, the surviving Jugos del Valle entity sold its operations to The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola FEMSA and other bottlers of Coca-Cola trademark brands in Brazil. These still beverage operations were integrated into a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Company in Brazil. Through Coca-Cola FEMSA’s joint ventures with The Coca-Cola Company, we distribute the Jugos del Valle line of juice-based beverages and have begun to develop and distribute new products.

On April 22, 2008, FEMSA shareholders approved a proposal to amend our bylaws in order to preserve the unit structure for our shares that has been in place since May 1998, and to maintain our existing share structure beyond May 11, 2008. Our bylaws previously provided that on May 11, 2008 our Series D-B Shares would convert into Series B Shares and our Series D-L Shares would convert into Series L Shares with limited voting rights. In addition, our bylaws provided that on May 11, 2008 our current unit structure would cease to exist and each of our B Units would be unbundled into five Series B Shares, while each BD Unit would unbundle into three Series B Shares and two newly issued Series L Shares. Following the April 22, 2008 shareholder approvals, the automatic conversion of our share and unit structures will no longer exist, and, absent shareholder action, our share structure will continue to be comprised of Series B Shares, which must represent not less than 51% of our outstanding capital stock, and Series D-B and Series D-L Shares, which together may represent up to 49% of our outstanding capital stock. Our Unit structure, absent shareholder action, will continue to consist of B Units, which bundle five Series B Shares, and BD Units, which bundle one Series B Share, two Series D-B Shares and two Series D-L Shares. See “Item 9. The Offer and Listing —Description of Securities.”

On May 24, 2008, Mr. Eugenio Garza Lagüera, our Honorary Life Chairman, passed away. Mr. Garza Lagüera began his professional career as a chemist in Cuauhtémoc’s research department and became chairman of our Board of Directors in April 29, 1969. He served as member of several boards of directors of national and international firms. During his life he was recognized for his entrepreneurial and social trajectories.

In May 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA completed its acquisition of REMIL in Brazil for US$ 364.1 million, net of cash received, and assumed liabilities of US$ 196.9 million. In connection with the acquisition, Coca-Cola FEMSA identified intangible assets of indefinite life of US$ 224.7 million.

 

19


Table of Contents

Ownership Structure

We conduct our business through our principal sub-holding companies as shown in the following diagram and table:

Principal Sub-holding Companies—Ownership Structure

As of May 29, 2009

LOGO

 

 

(1)

Compañía Internacional de Bebidas, S.A. de C.V.

 

(2)

Grupo Industrial Emprex, S.A. de C.V.

 

(3)

Emprex Cerveza, S.A. de C.V.

 

(4)

Percentage of capital stock, equal to 63.0% of capital stock with full voting rights.

 

20


Table of Contents

The following tables present an overview of our operations by reportable segment and by geographic region under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards:

Operations by Segment—Overview

Year Ended December 31, 2008 and % of growth vs. last year (1)

 

     Coca-Cola FEMSA     FEMSA Cerveza     FEMSA Comercio  
     (in millions of Mexican pesos,
except for employees and percentages)
 

Total revenues

   Ps. 82,976    19.8   Ps. 42,385      7.1   Ps. 47,146    12.0

Income from operations

     13,695    19.2        5,394      (1.9     3,077    32.6   

Total assets

     97,958    12.4        65,549      —          17,185    20.3   

Employees

     65,021    11.9        26,025 (2)     6.1        21,261    34.4   

Total Revenues Summary by Segment (1)

 

     Year Ended December 31,
     2008    2007    2006
     (in millions of Mexican pesos)

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   Ps. 82,976    Ps. 69,251    Ps. 64,046

FEMSA Cerveza

     42,385      39,566      37,919

FEMSA Comercio

     47,146      42,103      36,835

Other

     9,401      8,124      7,966

Consolidated total revenues

   Ps. 168,022    Ps. 147,556    Ps. 136,120

Total Revenues Summary by Geographic Region (3)

 

     Year Ended December 31,
     2008    2007    2006
     (in millions of Mexican pesos)

Mexico (4)

   Ps. 114,640    Ps. 106,136    Ps. 99,310

Latincentro (5)

     12,853      11,901      11,148

Venezuela

     15,217      9,792      7,997

Mercosur (6)

     25,755      20,127      17,836

Consolidated total revenues

   Ps. 168,022    Ps. 147,556    Ps. 136,120

 

(1) The sum of the financial data for each of our segments and percentages with respect thereto differ from our consolidated financial information due to intercompany transactions, which are eliminated in consolidation, and certain assets and activities of FEMSA.

 

(2) Includes employees of third-party distributors.

 

(3) The sum of the financial data for each geographic region differs from our consolidated financial information due to intercompany transactions, which are eliminated in consolidation.

 

(4) Includes export sales.

 

(5) Includes Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

 

(6) Includes Brazil and Argentina.

 

21


Table of Contents

Significant Subsidiaries

The following table sets forth our significant subsidiaries as of May 29, 2009:

 

Name of Company

   Jurisdiction of
Establishment
   Percentage
Owned

CIBSA (1)

   Mexico    100.0%

Coca-Cola FEMSA (2)

   Mexico      53.7%

Propimex, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico      53.7%

Controladora Interamericana de Bebidas, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico      53.7%

Panamco México, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico      51.9%

Refrescos Latinoamericanos, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico      53.7%

Spal Industria Brasileira de Bebidas, S.A.

   Brazil      52.6%

Emprex Cerveza

   Mexico    100.0%

Desarrollo Comercial FEMSA, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico    100.0%

FEMSA Cerveza

   Mexico    100.0%

Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, S.A. de C.V.

   Mexico    100.0%

FEMSA Comercio

   Mexico    100.0%

 

(1) Compañía Internacional de Bebidas, S.A. de C.V., which we refer to as CIBSA.

 

(2) Percentage of capital stock. FEMSA owns 63.0% of the capital stock with full voting rights.

Business Strategy

We are a beverage company. Our soft drink operation, Coca-Cola FEMSA, is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in Latin America and the second largest in the world, measured in terms of sales volumes in 2008, and our brewing operation, FEMSA Cerveza, is both a significant competitor in the Mexican and Brazilian beer markets as well as an exporter in key international markets including the United States. Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza are our core businesses, which together define our identity and represent the avenues for our future growth. Our beverage businesses are enhanced by OXXO, the largest convenience store chain in Mexico with a total of 6,374 stores as of December 31, 2008 and a significant growth driver in its own right.

As a beverage company, we understand the importance of connecting with our end consumers by interpreting their needs, and ultimately delivering the right products to them for the right occasions. We strive to achieve this by developing the value of our brands, expanding our significant distribution capabilities, including aligning our interests with those at our third-party distribution partners in the beer market in Mexico, which in some instances involve us acquiring these third-party partners, and improving the efficiency of our operations. We continue to improve our information gathering and processing systems in order to better know and understand what our consumers want and need, and we are improving our production and distribution by more efficiently leveraging our asset base.

We believe that the competencies that our businesses have developed can be replicated in other geographic regions. This underlying principle guided our consolidation efforts, which culminated in Coca-Cola FEMSA’s acquisition of Panamco on May 6, 2003. The continental platform that this new combination produces—encompassing a significant territorial expanse in Mexico and Central America, including some of the most populous metropolitan areas in Latin America—we believe may provide us with opportunities to create value through both an improved ability to execute our strategies and the use of superior marketing tools.

Our ultimate objectives are achieving sustainable revenue growth, improving profitability and increasing the return on invested capital in each of our operations. We believe that by achieving these goals we will create sustainable value for our shareholders.

 

22


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA

Overview

Coca-Cola FEMSA is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola trademark beverages in Latin America, and the second largest in the world, calculated in each case by sales volume in 2008. Coca-Cola FEMSA operates in the following territories:

 

   

Mexico – a substantial portion of central Mexico (including Mexico City) and southeast Mexico (including the Gulf region).

 

   

Central America – Guatemala (Guatemala City and surrounding areas), Nicaragua (nationwide), Costa Rica (nationwide) and Panama (nationwide).

 

   

Colombia – most of the country.

 

   

Venezuela – nationwide.

 

   

Argentina – Buenos Aires and surrounding areas.

 

   

Brazil – the area of greater São Paulo, Campinas, Santos, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the state of Minas Gerais and part of the state of Goiás.

Coca-Cola FEMSA was organized on October 30, 1991 as a sociedad anónima de capital variable (a variable capital stock corporation) under the laws of Mexico with a duration of 99 years. On December 5, 2006, in response to amendments to the Mexican Securities Law, Coca-Cola FEMSA became a sociedad anónima bursátil de capital variable (a variable capital listed stock corporation). Coca-Cola FEMSA’s principal executive offices are located at Guillermo González Camarena No. 600, Col. Centro de Ciudad Santa Fé, Delegación Álvaro Obregón, México, D.F., 01210, México. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s telephone number at this location is (52-55) 5081-5100. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s website is www.coca-colafemsa.com .

The following is an overview of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s operations by segment in 2008:

Operations by Segment—Overview

Year Ended December 31, 2008 (1)

 

     Total
Revenues
   Percentage of
Total Revenues
  Income from
Operations
   Percentage of
Income from
Operations

Mexico

   33,799    40.7%     6,715    49.0%

Latincentro (2)

   12,791    15.4%     2,370    17.3%

Venezuela

   15,182    18.3%     1,289    9.4%

Mercosur (3)

   21,204    25.6%     3,321    24.3%

Consolidated

   82,976    100%   13,695    100%

 

(1) Expressed in millions of Mexican pesos, except for percentages.

 

(2) Includes Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

 

(3) Includes Brazil and Argentina

Corporate History

In 1979, one of our subsidiaries acquired certain soft drink bottlers that are now a part of its company. At that time, the acquired bottlers had 13 Mexican distribution centers operating 701 distribution routes, and their production capacity was 83 million physical cases. In 1991, FEMSA transferred its ownership in the bottlers to FEMSA Refrescos, S.A. de C.V., the corporate predecessor to Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V.

 

23


Table of Contents

In June 1993, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company subscribed for 30% of Coca-Cola FEMSA capital stock in the form of Series D Shares for US$ 195 million. In September 1993, FEMSA sold Series L Shares that represented 19% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s capital stock to the public, and Coca-Cola FEMSA listed these shares on the Mexican Stock Exchange and, in the form of ADSs, on the New York Stock Exchange. In a series of transactions between 1994 and 1997, Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired territories in Argentina and additional territories in southern Mexico.

In May 2003, Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired Panamco and began producing and distributing Coca-Cola trademark beverages in additional territories in the central and the gulf regions of Mexico and in Central America (Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama), Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, along with bottled water, beer and other beverages in some of these territories. As a result of the acquisition, the interest of The Coca-Cola Company in the capital stock of its company increased from 30% to 39.6%.

During August 2004, Coca-Cola FEMSA conducted a rights offering to allow existing holders of its Series L Shares and ADSs to acquire newly-issued Series L Shares in the form of Series L Shares and ADSs, respectively, at the same price per share at which ourselves and The Coca-Cola Company subscribed in connection with the Panamco acquisition. On March 8, 2006, its shareholders approved the non-cancellation of the 98,684,857 Series L Shares (equivalent to approximately 9.87 million ADSs, or over one-third of the outstanding Series L Shares) that were not subscribed for in the rights offering which are available for issuance at an issuance price of no less than US$ 2.216 per share or its equivalent in Mexican currency.

On November 3, 2006, we acquired, through a subsidiary, 148,000,000 of Coca-Cola FEMSA Series D Shares from certain subsidiaries of The Coca-Cola Company representing 9.4% of the total outstanding voting shares and 8.0% of the total outstanding equity, at a price of US$ 2.888 per share for an aggregate amount of US$ 427.4 million. With this purchase, we increased our ownership to 53.7% of Coca-Cola FEMSA capital stock. Pursuant to Coca-Cola FEMSA bylaws, the acquired shares were converted from Series D Shares to Series A Shares.

On November 8, 2007, a Mexican company owned directly or indirectly by Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company, acquired 100% of the shares of capital stock of Jugos del Valle. See “Item 4. The Company—Corporate Background.”

In December 2008, Jugos del Valle sold its Brazilian operations, Holdinbrás, Ltd. to a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola FEMSA and other bottlers of Coca-Cola trademark brands in Brazil. These operations were integrated into the Sucos Mais business, a joint venture with The Coca-Cola Company in Brazil.

On May 30, 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA entered into a purchase agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire its wholly-owned bottling territory, REMIL, located in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. During the second quarter of 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA closed this transaction for US$ 364.1 million. Coca-Cola FEMSA consolidates REMIL in its financial statements as of June 1, 2008.

In December 2007 and May 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA sold most of its proprietary brands to The Coca-Cola Company for a total amount of US$ 64 million. Both of these transactions were conducted on an arm’s length basis. These trademarks are now being licensed to Coca-Cola FEMSA by The Coca-Cola Company subject to existing bottler agreements.

In July 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA acquired Agua de los Angeles, S.A. de C.V. (Agua de los Angeles), a jug water business in the Valley of Mexico, from Grupo CIMSA S.A. de C.V. (Grupo CIMSA), one of the Coca-Cola bottlers in Mexico, for US$ 18.3 million. The trademarks remain with The Coca-Cola Company.

In February 2009, Coca-Cola FEMSA completed the transaction with Bavaria, a subsidiary of SABMiller, to jointly acquire with The Coca-Cola Company the Brisa bottled water business (including the Brisa brand). The purchase price of US$ 92 million was shared equally by Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company.

 

24


Table of Contents

As of March 31, 2009, we indirectly owned Series A Shares equal to 53.7% of Coca-Cola FEMSA capital stock (63% of its capital stock with full voting rights), and The Coca-Cola Company indirectly owned Series D Shares equal to 31.6% of the capital stock of Coca-Cola FEMSA (37% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s capital stock with full voting rights). Series L Shares with limited voting rights, which trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange and in the form of ADSs on the New York Stock Exchange, constitute the remaining 14.7% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s capital stock.

Business Strategy

Coca-Cola FEMSA is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola trademark beverages in Latin America in terms of total sales volume in 2008, with operations in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil. While its corporate headquarters are in Mexico City, it has established divisional headquarters in the following three regions:

 

   

Mexico with headquarters in Mexico City;

 

   

Latincentro (covering territories in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Venezuela) with headquarters in San José, Costa Rica; and

 

   

Mercosur (covering territories in Argentina and Brazil) with headquarters in São Paulo, Brazil.

Coca-Cola FEMSA seeks to provide its shareholders with an attractive return on their investment by increasing its profitability. The key factors in achieving increased revenues and profitability are (1) implementing multi-segmentation strategies in its major markets to target distinct market clusters divided by consumption occasion, competitive intensity and socioeconomic levels; (2) implementing well-planned product, packaging and pricing strategies through channel distribution; and (3) driving product innovation along its different product categories and (4) achieving operational efficiencies throughout its company. To achieve these goals Coca-Cola FEMSA continues its efforts in:

 

   

working with The Coca-Cola Company to develop a business model to continue exploring new lines of beverages, extend existing product lines, participate in new beverage lines and effectively advertise and market its products;

 

   

developing and expanding its still beverage portfolio through strategic acquisitions and by entering into joint ventures with The Coca-Cola Company;

 

   

implementing packaging strategies designed to increase consumer demand for its products and to build a strong returnable base for the Coca-Cola brand selectively;

 

   

replicating its best practices throughout the whole value chain;

 

   

rationalizing and adapting its organizational and asset structure in order to be in a better position to respond to a changing competitive environment;

 

   

strengthening its selling capabilities and go-to-market strategies, including pre-sale, conventional selling and hybrid routes, in order to get closer to its clients and help them satisfy the beverage needs of consumers;

 

   

expanding its bottled water strategy, in conjunction with The Coca-Cola Company through innovation and selective acquisitions to maximize its profitability across its market territories;

 

   

committing to building a multi-cultural collaborative team, from top to bottom; and

 

   

seeking to expand its geographical footprint.

Coca-Cola FEMSA seeks to increase per capita consumption of its products in the territories in which it operates. To that end, its marketing teams continuously develop sales strategies tailored to the different characteristics of its various territories and channels. Coca-Cola FEMSA continues to develop its product portfolio to better meet market demand and maintain its overall profitability. To stimulate and respond to consumer demand, it continues to introduce new products and new presentations. See “—Product and Packaging Mix.” It also seeks to increase placement of coolers, including promotional displays, in retail outlets in order to showcase and promote its products. In addition, because it views its relationship with The Coca-Cola Company as integral to its business strategy, it uses market information systems and strategies developed with The Coca-Cola Company to improve its coordination with the worldwide marketing efforts of The Coca-Cola Company. See “—Marketing—Channel Marketing.”

 

25


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA seeks to rationalize its manufacturing and distribution capacity to improve the efficiency of its operations. In each of 2005, 2006 and 2007, Coca-Cola FEMSA closed additional distribution centers. In 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA also closed a production facility in its Mexican territory. See “—Description of Property, Plant and Equipment.” In each of its facilities, Coca-Cola FEMSA seeks to increase productivity in its facilities through infrastructure and process reengineering for improved asset utilization. Its capital expenditure program includes investments in production and distribution facilities, bottles, cases, coolers and information systems. Coca-Cola FEMSA believes that this program will allow it to maintain its capacity and flexibility to innovate and to respond to consumer demand for its non-alcoholic beverages.

Finally, Coca-Cola FEMSA focuses on management quality as a key element of its growth strategies and remains committed to fostering the development of quality management at all levels. Both The Coca-Cola Company and we provide Coca-Cola FEMSA with managerial experience. To build upon these skills, Coca-Cola FEMSA also offers management training programs designed to enhance its executives’ abilities and exchange experiences, know-how and talent among an increasing number of multinational executives from its new and existing territories.

 

26


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Territories

The following map shows Coca-Cola FEMSA’s territories, giving estimates in each case of the population to which it offers products, the number of retailers of its sparkling beverages and the per capita consumption of its sparkling beverages:

LOGO

Per capita consumption data for a territory is determined by dividing sparkling beverage sales volume within the territory (in bottles, cans and fountain containers) by the estimated population within such territory, and is expressed on the basis of the number of eight-ounce servings of Coca-Cola FEMSA products consumed annually per capita. In evaluating the development of local volume sales in its territories and to determine product potential, Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company measure, among other factors, the per capita consumption of its sparkling beverages.

 

27


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Products

Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages, proprietary brands and brands licensed from us. The Coca-Cola trademark beverages include: sparkling beverages (colas and flavored sparkling beverages); water; and still beverages (including juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and isotonics). In December 2007 and May 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA sold most of its proprietary brands to The Coca-Cola Company. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—Related Party Transactions—Business Transactions between Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company.”

 

Colas:

   Mexico    Central
America
   Colombia    Venezuela    Brazil    Argentina

Coca-Cola

   ü    ü    ü    ü    ü    ü

Coca-Cola light

   ü    ü    ü    ü    ü    ü

Coca-Cola Zero

   ü    ü    ü    ü    ü    ü

Flavored Soft Drinks:

   Mexico    Central
America
   Colombia    Venezuela    Brazil    Argentina

Aquarius Fresh

               ü   

Chinotto

            ü      

Crush

         ü          ü

Fanta

   ü    ü          ü    ü

Fresca

   ü    ü            

Frescolita

      ü       ü      

Hit

            ü      

Kuat

               ü   

Lift

   ü    ü            

Mundet (1)

   ü               

Quatro

         ü          ü

Simba

               ü   

Sprite

   ü    ü    ü       ü    ü

Water:

   Mexico    Central
America
   Colombia    Venezuela    Brazil    Argentina

Alpina

      ü            

Brisa

         ü         

Ciel

   ü               

Crystal

               ü   

Manantial

         ü         

Nevada

            ü      

Santa Clara (2)

         ü         

Other Categories:

   Mexico    Central
America
   Colombia    Venezuela    Brazil    Argentina

Dasani (3)

      ü    ü          ü

Hi-C (4)

      ü             ü

Jugos del Valle (4)

   ü    ü    ü       ü   

Nestea

   ü    ü       ü    ü   

Powerade (5)

   ü    ü    ü    ü      

 

(1) Brand licensed from FEMSA.

 

(2) Proprietary brand.

 

(3) Flavored water. In Argentina also as still water.

 

(4) Juice based drink.

 

(5) Isotonic.

 

28


Table of Contents

Sales Overview

Coca-Cola FEMSA measures total sales volume in terms of unit cases. Unit case refers to 192 ounces of finished beverage product (24 eight-ounce servings) and, when applied to fountain syrup, powders and concentrate, refers to the volume of fountain syrup, powders and concentrate that is required to produce 192 ounces of finished beverage product. The following table illustrates its historical sales volume for each of its territories.

 

     Sales Volume
Year Ended December 31,
     2008    2007    2006
     (millions of unit cases)

Mexico

   1,149.0    1,110.4    1,070.7

Central America (1)

   132.6    128.1    120.3

Colombia

   197.9    197.8    190.9

Venezuela

   206.7    209.0    182.6

Argentina

   186.0    179.4    164.9

Brazil (2)

   370.6    296.1    268.7
              

Combined Volume

   2,242.8    2,120.8    1,998.1

 

(1) Includes Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

 

(2) Excludes beer sales volume and includes REMIL sales volume from June 2008 onward.

Product and Packaging Mix

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s most important brand is Coca-Cola and its line extensions, including Coca-Cola light and Coca-Cola Zero, which together accounted for 62.5% of total sales volume in 2008. Ciel (including bulk presentations and volumes integrated from Agua de los Angeles ), Fanta, Sprite, Lift and Fresca , its next largest brands in consecutive order, accounted for 10.7%, 5.7%, 2.8%, 1.5% and 1.3%, respectively, of total sales volume in 2008. Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term line extensions to refer to the different flavors in which it offers its brands. Coca-Cola FEMSA produces, markets and distributes Coca-Cola trademark beverages in each of its territories in containers authorized by The Coca-Cola Company, which consist of a variety of returnable and non-returnable presentations in the form of glass bottles, cans and plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephtalate, which it refers to as PET.

Coca-Cola FEMSA uses the term presentation to refer to the packaging unit in which it sells its products. Presentation sizes for its Coca-Cola trademark beverages range from a 6.5-ounce personal size to a 3-liter multiple serving size. For all of its products excluding water, Coca-Cola FEMSA considers a multiple serving size as equal to or larger than 1.0 liter. In general, personal sizes have a higher price per unit case as compared to multiple serving sizes. Coca-Cola FEMSA offers both returnable and non-returnable presentations, which allow Coca-Cola FEMSA to offer different combinations of convenience and price to implement revenue management strategies and to target specific distribution channels and population segments in its territories. In addition, it sells some Coca-Cola trademark beverage syrups in containers designed for soda fountain use, which it refers to as fountain. It also sells bottled water products in bulk sizes, which refers to presentations equal to or larger than 5 liters, that have a much lower average price per unit case than its other beverage products.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s core brands are principally the Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Coca-Cola FEMSA sells certain of these brands or their line extensions at a premium in some of its territories, in which case it refers to them as premium brands. It also sells certain other brands at a lower price per ounce, which it refers to as value protection brands.

The characteristics of its territories are very diverse. Central Mexico and its territories in Argentina are densely populated and have a large number of competing sparkling beverages brands as compared to the rest of its territories. Brazil is densely populated but has lower per capita consumption of sparkling beverage products as compared to Mexico. Portions of southern Mexico, Central America and Colombia are large and mountainous areas

 

29


Table of Contents

with lower population density, lower per capita income and lower per capita consumption of sparkling beverages. In Venezuela, per capita consumption of Coca-Cola FEMSA products has remained stable in spite of short-term operating disruptions over the past few years.

The following discussion analyzes Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product and packaging mix by segment. The volume data presented is for the years 2008, 2007 and 2006.

Mexico. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio consists of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. In 2007, as part of its efforts to strengthen the Coca-Cola brand it launched Coca-Cola Zero, a line extension of the Coca-Cola brand . Sparkling beverage per capita consumption of its products in its Mexican territories in 2008 was 411 eight-ounce servings.

The following table highlights historical sales volume and mix in Mexico for its products:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   1,149.0      1,110.4      1,070.7   

% Growth

   3.5   3.7   4.5
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   75.4   78.3   79.6

Water (1)

   21.6   20.7      19.5   

Still beverages

   3.0   1.0      0.9   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

 

(1) Includes jug volume.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s most popular sparkling beverage presentations were the 2.5-liter returnable plastic bottle, the 0.6-liter non-returnable plastic bottle and the 2.5-liter non-returnable plastic bottle, which together accounted for 62.1% of total sparkling beverage sales volume in Mexico in 2008. In 2008, multiple serving presentations represented 64.4% of total sparkling beverages sales volume in Mexico, a 1.3% growth compared to 2007. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s commercial strategies seek to foster consumption in single serving presentations while maintaining multiple serving volumes. In 2008, its sparkling beverages decreased as a percentage of its total sales volume from 78.9% in 2007 to 75.9% in 2008 mainly due to the introduction of the Jugos del Valle line of products and the Agua de los Angeles jug water business.

Total sales volume reached 1,149.0 million unit cases in 2008, an increase of 3.5% compared to 1,110.4 million unit cases in 2007. Sparkling beverages sales volume remained stable as compared with 2007. The still beverage category accounted for approximately 60% of the total incremental volumes during the year. Still beverages growth was mainly driven by the introduction of the Jugos del Valle line of products, particularly Valle Frut. Sparkling beverages volume growth was mainly driven by strong growth of the Coca-Cola brand.

Central America. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product sales in Central America consist predominantly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption in Central America of its products was 151 eight-ounce servings in 2008.

 

30


Table of Contents

The following table highlights historical total sales volume and sales volume mix in Central America:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   132.6      128.1      120.3   

% Growth

   3.5   6.5   10.0
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   88.8   89.7   90.9

Water

   4.2   4.3      4.4   

Still beverages

   7.0   6.0      4.7   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

In 2008, multiple serving presentations represented 54.1% of total sparkling beverage sales volume in Central America, compared with 51.8% in 2007.

Total sales volume was 132.6 million unit cases in 2008, increasing 3.5% compared to 128.1 million in 2007. Sparkling beverages volumes in the year accounted for more than 65% of its total incremental volume and still beverages were the majority of the balance.

Colombia. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio in Colombia consists mainly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Colombia during 2008 was 89 eight-ounce servings.

The following table highlights historical total sales volume and sales volume mix in Colombia:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   197.9      197.8      190.9   

% Growth

   0.0   3.6   6.2
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   87.1   87.6   87.9

Water (1)

   10.0   11.0      10.9   

Still beverages

   2.9   1.4      1.2   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

 

(1) Includes jug volume.

In 2008, multiple serving presentations represented 55.4% of total sparkling beverages sales volume in Colombia. In 2008, as part of its efforts to strengthen the Coca-Cola brand, Coca-Cola FEMSA launched Coca-Cola Zero, a line extension of the Coca-Cola brand.

Total sales volume was 197.9 million unit cases in 2008, remaining stable as compared to 197.8 million unit cases in 2007, driven by still beverages volume growth due to the introduction of Jugos del Valle line of products, which compensated for a slight decline in sparkling beverages. See “Item 4. The Company—Corporate Background.”

Venezuela. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio in Venezuela consists predominantly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Venezuela during 2008 was 161 eight-ounce servings.

 

31


Table of Contents

The following table highlights historical total sales volume and sales volume mix in Venezuela:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   206.7      209.0      182.6   

% Growth

   (1.1 %)    14.5   5.9
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   91.3   90.4   87.7

Water (1)

   5.8   5.7      7.5   

Still beverages

   2.9   3.9      4.8   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

During 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA continued facing periodic operating difficulties that prevented it from producing and distributing enough supply. It has implemented a product portfolio rationalization strategy to minimize the impact of these disruptions. As a consequence, its sparkling beverages sales volume remained flat for the year.

In 2008, multiple serving presentations represented 75.3% of total sparkling beverages sales volume in Venezuela. Total sales volume was 206.7 million unit cases in 2008, which represented a slight decrease of 1.1% compared to 209.0 million cases in 2007. This decrease was mainly driven by operating disruptions Coca-Cola FEMSA faced during the year. See “Risk Factors—Risks Related to Our Company—Risks related to Mexico and the Other Countries in Which We Operate—Economic and political conditions in other Latin American countries in which we operate may adversely affect our business.”

Argentina. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio in Argentina consists exclusively of Coca-Cola trademark beverages. Sparkling beverages per capita consumption of its products in Argentina during 2008 was 375 eight-ounce servings.

The following table highlights historical total sales volume and sales volume mix in Argentina:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   186.0      179.4      164.9   

% Growth

   3.7   8.8   9.8
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   95.0   96.2   96.6

Water

   1.3   1.0      1.2   

Still beverages

   3.7   2.8      2.2   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

During 2008, returnable packaging accounted for 27.1% of total sales volume in Argentina in 2008 as compared to 25.2% in 2007. In 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA launched Acquarius , a flavored still water.

Total sales volume reached 186.0 million unit cases in 2008, an increase of 3.7% compared with 179.4 million in 2007. The majority of the volume growth came from its non-returnable presentations and growth of still beverages, which represented over 75% of the sales volume increase and growth of still beverages. In 2008, multiple serving presentations, as a percentage of sparkling beverage volume, remained flat at 84.3%.

 

32


Table of Contents

Brazil. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s product portfolio in Brazil consists mainly of Coca-Cola trademark beverages and the Kaiser beer brand, which Coca-Cola FEMSA sells and distributes on our behalf. Sparkling beverage per capita consumption of its products in Brazil during 2008 was 213 eight-ounce servings.

The following table highlights historical total sales volume and sales volume mix in Brazil, not including beer:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006  
     (millions of unit cases)  

Product Sales Volume

  

Total

   370.6      296.1      268.7   

% Growth

   25.2   10.2   6.4
     (in percentages)  

Unit Case Volume Mix by Category

  

Sparkling beverages

   92.0   91.7   91.7

Water

   5.7   6.7      7.3   

Still beverages

   2.3   1.6      1.0   
                  

Total

   100.0   100.0   100.0
                  

Beginning in June 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA integrated REMIL’s territory into its existing Brazilian operations, which contributed with 66.1 million unit cases of beverages to its sales volume during this seven-month period.

Total sales volume was 370.6 million unit cases in 2008, an increase of 25.2% compared to 296.1 million in 2007. Excluding REMIL, total sales volume increased 2.8%. Sparkling beverages accounted for more than 80% of volume growth during the year. In 2008, as part of its efforts to strengthen the still beverage category Coca-Cola FEMSA launched I-9 , a new hydro-tonic product enriched with minerals .

Coca-Cola FEMSA sells and distributes the Kaiser brands of beer in its territories in Brazil. In January 2006, we acquired an indirect controlling stake in Cervejarias Kaiser. Coca-Cola FEMSA continues to distribute the Kaiser beer portfolio and to assume the sales function in São Paulo, consistent with the arrangements in place prior to 2004, and has recently resumed these functions in Minas Gerais, Brazil following the acquisition of REMIL. Since the second quarter of 2005, Coca-Cola FEMSA ceased including beer that Coca-Cola FEMSA distributes in Brazil in its sales volumes.

On May 30, 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA entered into a purchase agreement with The Coca-Cola Company to acquire its wholly-owned bottling territory, REMIL, located in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. During the second quarter of 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA closed this transaction for US$ 364.1 million.

In July 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA completed the transaction to acquire the Agua De Los Angeles jug water operation in the Valley of Mexico for a purchase price of US$ 18.3 million and subsequently started to merge this business into its current jug water business, under the brand Ciel .

In February 2009, Coca-Cola FEMSA closed the transaction with Bavaria, a subsidiary of SABMiller, to jointly acquire with The Coca-Cola Company the Brisa bottled water business. Coca-Cola FEMSA and The Coca-Cola Company each paid a purchase price of US$ 46 million. Brisa sold 47 million unit cases during 2008 in Colombia.

Seasonality

Sales of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products are seasonal, as its sales levels generally increase during the summer months of each country and during the Christmas holiday season. In Mexico, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, Coca-Cola FEMSA typically achieves its highest sales during the summer months of April through September as well as during the Christmas holidays in December. In Argentina and Brazil, its highest sales levels occur during the summer months of October through March and the Christmas holidays in December.

 

33


Table of Contents

Marketing

Coca-Cola FEMSA, in conjunction with The Coca-Cola Company, has developed a sophisticated marketing strategy to promote the sale and consumption of its products. Coca-Cola FEMSA relies extensively on advertising, sales promotions and non-price related retailer incentive programs designed by local affiliates of The Coca-Cola Company to target the particular preferences of its soft drink consumers. Its marketing expenses in 2008, net of contributions by The Coca-Cola Company, were Ps. 2,376 million. The Coca-Cola Company contributed an additional Ps. 1,995 million in 2008, which includes contributions for coolers. Through the use of advanced information technology, it has collected customer and consumer information that allows it to tailor its marketing strategies to the types of customers located in each of its territories and to meet the specific needs of the various markets it serves.

Retailer Incentive Programs . Incentive programs include providing retailers with commercial coolers for the display and cooling of beverage products and for point-of-sale display materials. Coca-Cola FEMSA seeks, in particular, to increase cooler distribution among retailers to increase the visibility and consumption of its products and to ensure that they are sold at the proper temperature. Sales promotions include sponsorship of community activities, sporting, cultural and social events, and consumer sales promotions such as contests, sweepstakes and product giveaways.

Advertising . Coca-Cola FEMSA advertises in all major communications media. It focuses its advertising efforts on increasing brand recognition by consumers and improving its customer relations. National advertising campaigns are designed and proposed by The Coca-Cola Company’s local affiliates, with Coca-Cola FEMSA’s input at the local or regional level.

Channel Marketing . In order to provide more dynamic and specialized marketing of its products, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s strategy is to classify its markets and develop targeted efforts for each consumer segment or distribution channel. Its principal channels are small retailers, “on-premise” consumption such as restaurants and bars, supermarkets and third party distributors. Presence in these channels entails a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the purchasing patterns and preferences of various groups of soft drink consumers in each of the different types of locations or distribution channels. In response to this analysis, Coca-Cola FEMSA tailors its product, price, packaging and distribution strategies to meet the particular needs of and exploit the potential of each channel.

Coca-Cola FEMSA believes that the implementation of its channel marketing strategy also enables it to respond to competitive initiatives with channel-specific responses as opposed to market-wide responses. This focused response capability isolates the effects of competitive pressure in a specific channel, thereby avoiding costlier market-wide responses. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s channel marketing activities are facilitated by its management information systems. Coca-Cola FEMSA has invested significantly in creating these systems, including in hand-held computers to support the gathering of product, consumer and delivery information, for most of its sales routes in Mexico and Argentina and selectively in other territories.

Multi-segmentation . Coca-Cola FEMSA has been implementing a multi-segmentation strategy in the majority of its markets. This strategy consists on the implementation of different product/price/package portfolios by market cluster or group. These clusters are defined based on consumption occasion, competitive intensity and socio-economic levels, rather than solely on the types of distribution channels. Coca-Cola FEMSA has developed a market intelligence system that it refers to as the right-execution-daily system (RED), which has allowed it to implement this strategy. This system provides the data required to target specific consumer segments and channels and allows Coca-Cola FEMSA to collect and analyze the data required to tailor its product, package, price and distribution strategies to fit different consumer needs.

 

34


Table of Contents

Product Distribution

The following table provides an overview of its product distribution centers and the retailers to which it sells its products:

Product Distribution Summary

as of December 31, 2008

 

     Mexico    Central
America
   Colombia    Venezuela    Argentina    Brazil

Distribution Centers

   83    28    32    33    5    27

Retailers (in thousands) (1)

   612    102    365    159    82    197

 

(1) Estimated.

Coca-Cola FEMSA continuously evaluates its distribution model in order to fit with the local dynamics of the market place. Coca-Cola FEMSA is currently analyzing the way it goes to market, recognizing different service needs from its customers, while looking for a more efficient distribution model. As part of this strategy, Coca-Cola FEMSA is rolling out a variety of new distribution models throughout its territories looking for improvements in its distribution network.

Coca-Cola FEMSA uses two main sales methods depending on market and geographic conditions: (1) the traditional or conventional truck route system, in which the person in charge of the delivery makes immediate sales from inventory available on the truck and (2) the pre-sale system, which separates the sales and delivery functions and allows sales personnel to sell products prior to delivery and trucks to be loaded with the mix of products that retailers have previously ordered, thereby increasing distribution efficiency. Coca-Cola FEMSA also begun to use a hybrid distribution system in some of its territories, where the same truck holds product available for immediate sale and product previously ordered through the pre-sale system. As part of the pre-sale system, sales personnel also provide merchandising services during retailer visits, which it believes enhance the presentation of its products at the point of sale. Coca-Cola FEMSA believes that service visits to retailers and frequency of deliveries are essential elements in an effective selling and distribution system for its products. In certain areas, Coca-Cola FEMSA also makes sales through third party wholesalers of its products. The vast majority of its sales are on a cash basis.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s distribution centers range from large warehousing facilities and re-loading centers to small deposit centers. In addition to its fleet of trucks, Coca-Cola FEMSA distributes its products in certain locations through a fleet of electric carts and hand-trucks in order to comply with local environmental and traffic regulations. Coca-Cola FEMSA generally retains third parties to transport its finished products from the bottling plants to the distribution centers.

Mexico . Coca-Cola FEMSA contracts with one of our subsidiaries for the transportation of finished products to its distribution centers from its Mexican production facilities. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—Related Party Transactions.” From the distribution centers, it then distributes its finished products to retailers through its own fleet of trucks. During 2008 it closed 1 of its 84 distribution centers in its Mexican operations.

In Mexico, Coca-Cola FEMSA sells a majority of its beverages at small retail stores to customers who take the beverages home or elsewhere for consumption. Coca-Cola FEMSA also sells products through the “on-premise” consumer segment, supermarkets and others. The “on-premise” consumer segment consists of sales through sidewalk stands, restaurants, bars and various types of dispensing machines as well as sales through point-of-sale programs in concert halls, auditoriums and theaters.

Territories other than Mexico . Coca-Cola FEMSA distributes its finished products to retailers through a combination of its own fleet of trucks and third party distributors. At the end of 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA operated 28, 32, 33, 5 and 27 distribution centers in its Central American territories, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil, respectively.

 

35


Table of Contents

In most of its territories, an important part of its total sales volume is through small retailers, with low supermarket penetration. In contrast, in Brazil Coca-Cola FEMSA sold approximately 22% of its total sales volume through supermarkets in 2008. Also in Brazil, the delivery of its finished products to customers is by a third party. In designated zones in Brazil, third-party distributors purchase its products at a discount from the wholesale price and resell the products to retailers.

Competition

Although we believe that Coca-Cola FEMSA’s products enjoy wider recognition and greater consumer loyalty than those of its principal competitors, the sparkling beverages market in the territories in which it operates are highly competitive. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s principal competitors are local bottlers of Pepsi and other bottlers and distributors of national and regional soft drink brands. Coca-Cola FEMSA faces increased competition in many of its territories from producers of low price beverages, commonly referred to as “B brands.” A number of its competitors in Central America, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil offer both soft drinks and beer, which may enable them to achieve distribution efficiencies.

Recently, price discounting and packaging have joined consumer sales promotions, customer service and non-price retailer incentives as the primary means of competition among soft drink bottlers. Coca-Cola FEMSA competes by seeking to offer products at an attractive price in the different segments in its markets and by building on the value of its brands. Coca-Cola FEMSA believes that the introduction of new products and new presentations has been a significant competitive technique that allows it to increase demand for its products, provide different options to consumers and increase new consumption opportunities. See “—Sales Overview.”

Mexico . Coca-Cola FEMSA’s principal competitors in Mexico are bottlers of Pepsi products, whose territories overlap but are not co-extensive with its own. In central Mexico Coca-Cola FEMSA competes with a subsidiary of PBG, the largest bottler of Pepsi products globally, and Grupo Embotelladores Unidos, S.A.B. de C.V., the Pepsi bottler in central and southeast Mexico. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competition in the juice category in Mexico is Jumex, the largest juice producer in the country. In the water category, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competitor is Bonafont , a water brand owned by Danone. In addition, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes with Cadbury Schweppes and with other national and regional brands in its Mexican territories. Coca-Cola FEMSA also competes with low price producers mainly offering multiple serving size presentations in the sparkling and still beverage industry.

Central America . In the countries that comprise its Central America region, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competitors are Pepsi bottlers. In Guatemala and Nicaragua, it competes against a joint venture between AmBev and The Central American Bottler Corporation. In Costa Rica, its principal competitor is Embotelladora Centroamericana, S.A., and in Panama, its main competitor is Refrescos Nacionales, S.A. Coca-Cola FEMSA also faces competition from low price producers offering multiple serving size presentations in some Central American countries.

Colombia . Coca-Cola FEMSA’s principal competitor in Colombia is Postobón S.A., or Postobón, a well-established local bottler that sells flavored soft drinks, some of which have a wide consumption preference, such as manzana Postobón (Postobón apple), which is the second most popular category in the Colombian soft drink industry in terms of total sales volume, and that also sells Pepsi products. Postobón is a vertically integrated producer, the owners of which hold other significant commercial interests in Colombia. Coca-Cola FEMSA also competes with low price producers such as Big Cola, which primarily offers multiple serving size presentations in the sparkling and still beverage industry.

Venezuela . In Venezuela, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competitor is Pepsi-Cola Venezuela, C.A., a joint venture formed between PepsiCo and Empresas Polar, S.A., the leading beer distributor in the country. Coca-Cola FEMSA also competes with the producers of Kola Real in part of the country.

 

36


Table of Contents

Argentina . In Argentina, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s main competitor is Buenos Aires Embotellador (BAESA), a Pepsi bottler, which is owned by Argentina’s principal brewery, Quilmes Industrial S.A., and indirectly controlled by AmBev. In addition, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes with a number of competitors offering generic, low priced soft drinks as well as many other generic products and private label proprietary supermarket brands.

Brazil . In Brazil, Coca-Cola FEMSA competes against AmBev, a Brazilian company with a portfolio of brands that includes Pepsi, local brands with flavors such as guaraná and proprietary beers. Coca-Cola FEMSA also competes against “B brands” or “Tubainas,” which are small, local producers of low cost flavored soft drinks in multiple serving presentations that represent an important portion of the soft drink market.

Raw Materials

Pursuant to the bottler agreements with The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola FEMSA is required to purchase concentrate, including aspartame, an artificial sweetener used in low-calorie sodas, for all Coca-Cola trademark beverages from companies designated by The Coca-Cola Company. The price of concentrate for all Coca-Cola trademark beverages is a percentage of the average price it charges to its retailers in local currency net of applicable taxes. Although The Coca-Cola Company has the right to unilaterally set the price of concentrates, in practice this percentage has historically been set pursuant to periodic negotiations with The Coca-Cola Company.

In 2005, The Coca-Cola Company decided to gradually increase concentrate prices for sparkling beverages over a three-year period in Brazil beginning in 2006, and in Mexico beginning in 2007. These increases have now been fully implemented in Brazil and will be fully implemented in Mexico during 2009. As part of the new cooperation framework that Coca-Cola FEMSA arrived at with The Coca-Cola Company at the end of 2006, The Coca-Cola Company will provide a relevant portion of the funds derived from the incidence increase to marketing support of the sparkling and still beverages portfolio. See “Item 10. Additional Information—Material Contracts—New Cooperation Framework with The Coca-Cola Company”

In addition to concentrate, Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases sweeteners, carbon dioxide, resin and ingots to make plastic bottles, finished plastic and glass bottles, cans, closures and fountain containers, as well as other packaging materials. Sweeteners are combined with water to produce basic syrup, which is added to the concentrate as the sweetener for the soft drink. Its bottler agreements provide that, with respect to Coca-Cola trademark beverages, these materials may be purchased only from suppliers approved by The Coca-Cola Company. Prices for packaging materials and high fructose corn syrup historically are determined with reference to the U.S. dollar, although the local currency equivalent in a particular country is subject to price volatility in accordance with changes in exchange rates. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s most significant packaging raw material costs arise from the purchase of resin, plastic ingots to make plastic bottles and finished plastic bottles, which it obtains from international and local producers. The prices of these materials are tied to crude oil prices and global resin supply, and in recent years it has experienced volatility in the prices it pays for these materials. Across its territories, its average price for resin in U.S. dollars decreased significantly during 2008.

Under its agreements with The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola FEMSA may use raw or refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup as sweeteners in its products. Sugar prices in all of the countries in which it operates, other than Brazil, are subject to local regulations and other barriers to market entry that cause it to pay in excess of international market prices for sugar in certain countries. Coca-Cola FEMSA has experienced sugar price volatility in these territories as a result of changes in local conditions, regulations and the stronger correlation to oil prices recently due to the use of sugar to produce alternative fuels.

None of the materials or supplies that Coca-Cola FEMSA uses is presently in short supply, although the supply of specific materials could be adversely affected by strikes, weather conditions, governmental controls or national emergency situations.

Mexico . Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases its returnable plastic bottles from Continental PET Technologies de México, S.A. de C.V, a subsidiary of Continental Can, Inc., which has been the exclusive supplier of returnable plastic bottles to The Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers in Mexico. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases resin primarily from Arteva Specialties, S. de R.L. de C.V. and Industrias Voridian, S.A. de C.V., which distributes non-returnable plastic bottles manufactured by ALPLA Fábrica de Plásticos, S.A. de C.V., known as ALPLA.

 

37


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA mainly purchases sugar from Promotora Mexicana de Embotelladoras, S.A. de C.V., known as PROMESA, a cooperative of Coca-Cola bottlers, in which it holds a 5.0% equity interest. These purchases are regularly made under one-year agreements between PROMESA and each bottler subsidiary for the sale of sugar at a price that is determined monthly based on the cost of sugar to PROMESA. Coca-Cola FEMSA also purchases sugar from Beta San Miguel, S.A. de C.V., a sugar cane producer in which it holds a 2.54% equity interest.

Imported sugar is subject to import duties, the amount of which is set by the Mexican government. As a result, sugar prices in Mexico are in excess of international market prices for sugar. In 2007 and 2008, sugar prices decreased compared to the prior year.

Central America . The majority of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s raw materials such as glass and plastic bottles and cans are purchased from several local suppliers. Sugar is available from one supplier in each country. Local sugar prices, in certain countries that comprised the region, are significantly higher than international market prices and its ability to import sugar or high fructose corn syrup is limited.

Colombia . Coca-Cola FEMSA uses sugar as a sweetener in its products, which it buys from several domestic sources. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases pre-formed ingots from Amcor and Tapón Corona de Colombia S.A. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases all of its glass bottles and cans from a supplier that its competitor Postobón owns a 40% equity interest in. Glass bottles and cans are available only from this one local source.

Venezuela . Coca-Cola FEMSA uses sugar as a sweetener in its products, which it purchase mainly from the local market. Since 2004, it has experienced a sugar shortage due to lower domestic production and the inability of the predominant sugar importers to obtain permissions to import. However, it was able to meet its sugar requirements through imports. Coca-Cola FEMSA buys glass bottles from one supplier, Productos de Vidrio, S.A., a local supplier, but there are other alternative suppliers authorized by The Coca-Cola Company. Coca-Cola FEMSA has several supplier options for plastic non-returnable bottles but it acquires most of its requirements from ALPLA de Venezuela, S.A.

Argentina . In Argentina, Coca-Cola FEMSA uses high fructose corn syrup from several different local suppliers as a sweetener in its products instead of sugar. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases glass bottles, plastic cases and other raw materials from several domestic sources. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases pre-formed plastic ingots, as well as returnable plastic bottles, at competitive prices from Embotelladora del Atlántico S.A., a local subsidiary of Embotelladora Andina S.A., a Coca-Cola bottler with operations in Argentina, Chile and Brazil, and other local suppliers. Coca-Cola FEMSA produces its own can presentations and juice-based products for distribution to customers in Buenos Aires.

Brazil . Sugar is widely available in Brazil at local market prices, which historically have been similar to international prices. Sugar prices in Brazil in recent periods have been volatile mainly due to the increased demand for sugar cane for production of alternative fuels and Coca-Cola FEMSA’s average acquisition cost for sugar in 2008 increased. Coca-Cola FEMSA purchases glass bottles, plastic bottles and cans from several domestic and international suppliers.

Taxation of Sparkling Beverages . All the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates, except for Panama, impose a value-added tax on the sale of soft drink beverages, at a rate of 15% in Mexico, 12% in Guatemala, 15% in Nicaragua, 13% in Costa Rica, 16% in Colombia, 12% in Venezuela (starting in April 2009), 21% in Argentina, 18% in São Paulo, Brazil and 17% in Mato Grosso do Sul and Minas Gerais, Brazil. In addition, several of the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates impose the following excise or other taxes:

 

   

Guatemala imposes an excise tax of 0.18 local currency cents (Ps. 0.31 as of December 31, 2008) per liter of sparkling beverage.

 

   

Costa Rica imposes a specific tax on non-alcoholic bottled beverages based on the combination of packaging and flavor, a 5% excise tax on local brands, a 10% tax on foreign brands and a 14% tax on mixers, as well as a specific tax on non-alcoholic beverages of 14.08 colones (Ps. 2.94 as of December 31, 2008) for every 250 ml.

 

38


Table of Contents
   

Nicaragua imposes a 9% tax on consumption, and certain municipalities impose a tax on sales and income of 1% of gross income related to Nicaragua.

 

   

Panama imposes a 5% tax based on the cost of goods produced.

 

   

Argentina imposes an excise tax on colas and on flavored sparkling beverage containing less than 5% lemon juice or less than 10% fruit juice of 8.7%; an excise tax on flavored sparkling beverage with 10% or more fruit juice; and a 4.2% excise tax on mineral water, though this tax is not applicable to all of our products.

 

   

Brazil imposes an average production tax of 8.16% and an average sales tax of 4.88%, both assessed by the federal government. Most of these taxes are fixed, based on average retail prices in each state where the company operates (VAT) or fixed by the federal government (excise and sales tax). In November 2008, Law 11.827 was approved in Brazil imposing changes to the sales tax on the Brazilian beverage industry, effective as of January  1, 2009. The tax rate is in the range of 15% to 17% and is applied to sales prices.

FEMSA Cerveza

Overview and Background

FEMSA Cerveza produces beer in Mexico and Brazil and exports its products to 52 countries worldwide, with North America being its most important export market, followed by certain markets in Europe, Latin America and Asia. In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza was ranked the eleventh-largest brewer in the world in terms of sales volume. In Mexico, its main market, FEMSA Cerveza is the second largest beer producer in terms of sales volume. In 2008, approximately 66.7% of FEMSA Cerveza’s sales volume came from Mexico, with the remaining 24.8% from Brazil and 8.5% from exports. In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza sold 41.053 million hectoliters of beer.

FEMSA Cerveza’s principal operating subsidiaries are Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, S.A. de C.V., which operates six breweries in Mexico, Cervejarias Kaiser Brasil S.A., or Kaiser, which operates eight breweries in Brazil, and Cervezas Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, S.A. de C.V., which operates our company-owned distribution centers across Mexico.

Our management has identified Brazil as one of the most attractive and profitable beer markets in the world. Accordingly, in January 2006, FEMSA Cerveza, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired a 68% equity stake in the Brazilian brewer Kaiser from The Molson Coors Brewing Co., or Molson Coors, for US$ 68 million, at the same time receiving indemnity rights for certain tax contingencies of Kaiser. Molson Coors later completed its exit from the Brazilian market in December 2006 by exercising a put option to sell its 15% stake in Kaiser to FEMSA Cerveza for US$ 15.6 million. Under the terms of the agreements governing FEMSA Cerveza’s original acquisition of Kaiser in January 2006, FEMSA Cerveza’s indemnity rights for certain tax contingencies provided by Molson Coors increased proportionately with the incremental 15% stake it acquired. In addition, on December 22, 2006, FEMSA Cerveza completed a capital increase of US$ 200 million in Kaiser. FEMSA Cerveza was the only shareholder to participate in the capital increase, and as a result of this transaction, FEMSA Cerveza owned 99.83% and Heineken N.V. was diluted from 17% to 0.17%. In August 2007, FEMSA Cerveza and Heineken N.V. closed a stock purchase agreement whereby Heineken NV purchased the shares necessary to regain its 17% interest in Kaiser. As a result of these transactions, FEMSA Cerveza owns 83% of Kaiser and Heineken N.V. owns 17%.

Beer Sales Volume

FEMSA Cerveza volume figures contained in this annual report refer to invoiced sales volume of beer. In Mexico, invoiced sales volume represents the quantity of hectoliters of beer sold by FEMSA Cerveza’s breweries to unaffiliated distributors and by affiliated distributors to retailers. In Brazil, invoiced sales volume represents the quantity of hectoliters of beer sold by Kaiser. Kaiser sells its products primarily to the Brazilian Coca-Cola bottlers, which sell and distribute Kaiser beers in their respective territories. The term hectoliter means 100 liters or approximately 26.4 U.S. gallons.

FEMSA Cerveza’s total beer sales volume totaled 41.053 million hectoliters in 2008, an increase of 2.8% from total sales volume of 39.940 million hectoliters in 2007. In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican beer sales volume increased by 1.6% to 27.393 million hectoliters. Brazil sales volume totaled 10.181 million hectoliters in 2008, an increase of 3.9% from total sales volume of 9.795 million hectoliters in 2007. In 2008, export beer sales volume increased by 9.3% to 3.479 million hectoliters as compared to 3.183 million hectoliters in 2007.

 

39


Table of Contents

FEMSA Cerveza Total Beer Sales Volumes

 

     Year Ended December 31,
     2008    2007    2006    2005    2004
     (in thousands of hectoliters)

Mexico beer sales volume

   27,393    26,962    25,951    24,580    23,442

Brazil beer sales volume

   10,181    9,795    8,935    NA    NA

Export beer sales volume

   3,479    3,183    2,811    2,438    2,240

Total beer sales volume

   41,053    39,940    37,697    27,018    25,682

FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican beer sales volume recorded a compounded average growth rate of 4.0% while growth in the Mexican beer industry increased 3.9% for the period from 2004 through 2008. This compares with the 3.3% compounded average growth rate of the Mexican gross domestic product for the same period. FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican beer sales for the same period recorded a 7.4% compounded average growth rate. FEMSA Cerveza’s export sales volume recorded a compounded average growth rate of 11.6% for the same period, while the compounded average growth rate for FEMSA Cerveza export sales was 15.8%.

Femsa Cerveza’s Strategy

In order to achieve its objectives in the Mexican market, FEMSA Cerveza seeks to:

 

   

implement advanced brand, packaging and price information gathering techniques at the point-of-sale to allow FEMSA Cerveza to fine tune its portfolio of brands and pricing at the level of individual retailers;

 

   

innovate through a differentiated brand portfolio and increase the value of its brands by tailoring its portfolio of brands based on the attributes of each brand to specific consumer segments, channels and markets using marketing techniques such as market segmentation, brand positioning and distinctive advertising campaigns; as well as product and packaging innovation;

 

   

establish profitable, long-term relationships with retailers by implementing client-specific strategies to help increase their sales and profitability, such as modifying commercial terms with retailers, promotions, product display and types of refrigeration equipment and point-of-sale marketing materials;

 

   

achieve balanced and profitable retail distribution levels by selecting the appropriate mix of on- and off-premise accounts, and a balance of image-focused accounts (like upscale restaurants) and volume-driven accounts (like beer depots); and

 

   

pursue additional efficiencies and cost reductions on a continuing basis from production to final distribution, by pursuing specific cost reduction efforts, using information technology and improving business processes.

Mexico Operations

The Mexican Beer Market

The Mexican beer market was the sixth largest beer market in the world in terms of industry sales volume in 2008 and is characterized by (1) concentrated domestic beer production, (2) regional market share differences, (3) the prevalence of government licensing regulations, (4) favorable demographics in the beer drinking population, and (5) fragmented retail markets.

 

40


Table of Contents

Mexican beer production

Since 1985, Mexico has effectively had only two independent domestic beer producers, FEMSA Cerveza and Grupo Modelo. Grupo Modelo, a publicly traded company based in Mexico City, is the holding company of 76.8% of Diblo, S.A. de C.V., which operates the brewing and packaging subsidiaries of Grupo Modelo. Grupo Modelo’s principal beer brands are Corona , Modelo , Victoria and Pacífico . FEMSA Cerveza’s sales in the Mexican market depend on its ability to compete with Grupo Modelo.

Historically, beer imports have not been a significant factor in the Mexican beer market, primarily due to the Mexican consumer preference of Mexican brands. In 2008, this segment accounted for approximately 2.4% of total Mexican beer market in terms of sales volume, compared to approximately 2.0% four years ago. FEMSA Cerveza believes that the elimination of tariffs imposed on imported beers has had a limited effect on the Mexican beer market due to the fact that imported beers are largely premium and super-premium products sold in aluminum cans, which are a more expensive means of packaging in Mexico than beer sold in returnable bottles, and also given the dynamics of the beer market, where the point of sale is highly fragmented. Periods of relative strength of the Mexican peso with respect to the U.S. dollar, however, may lower the price of imported beer to consumers and may result in increased demand for imported beer in the Mexican market, while a devaluation of the Mexican peso should have a negative impact on demand for imported beers.

Regional market share differences

FEMSA Cerveza and Grupo Modelo are strongest in beer markets in different regions of Mexico. FEMSA Cerveza has a stronger market position in the northern and southern areas of Mexico while Grupo Modelo has a stronger market position in central Mexico. We believe that these regional market positions can be traced in part to consumer loyalty to the brand of beer that has historically been associated with a particular region.

We also believe that regional market strength is a function of the proximity of the breweries to the markets they serve. Transportation costs restrict the most efficient distribution of beer to a geographic area of approximately 300 to 500 kilometers surrounding a brewery. Generally, FEMSA Cerveza commands a majority of the beer sales in regions that are nearest to its largest breweries. FEMSA Cerveza’s largest breweries are in Orizaba, Veracruz and in Monterrey, Nuevo León. Grupo Modelo’s largest breweries are located in Mexico City, Oaxaca and Zacatecas.

The northern region of Mexico has traditionally enjoyed a higher per capita income level, attributable in part to its rapid industrialization within the last 50 years and to its commercial proximity to the United States. In addition, per capita beer consumption is also greater in this region due to its warmer climate and a more ingrained beer culture.

 

41


Table of Contents

Mexican Regional Demographic Statistics

as of December 31, 2008

 

Region

   Percent of
Total
Population
    Percent of Total
Gross
Domestic
Product
    Per Capita
Gross
Domestic
Product (1)

Northern

   27.0   33.5   Ps. 127.4

Southern

   22.9      15.3      68.4

Central

   50.1      51.2      104.7

Total

   100.0   100.0   Ps. 102.5

 

(1) Thousands of pesos

 

Source: FEMSA Cerveza estimates based on figures published by the Mexican Institute of Statistics (INEGI) and CAPEM Oxford Economics Forecasting.

Government regulation

The Mexican federal government regulates beer consumption in Mexico primarily through taxation while local governments in Mexico regulate primarily through the issuance of licenses that authorize retailers to sell alcoholic beverages.

Federal taxes on beer consist of a 15% value-added tax and an excise tax which is the higher of (1) 25% and (2) Ps. 3 per liter for non-returnable presentation or Ps. 1.74 for returnable presentations, as part of an environmental initiative by the Mexican governmental to encourage returnable presentations. The tax component of retail beer prices is significantly higher in Mexico than in the United States.

The number of retail outlets authorized to sell beer is controlled by local jurisdictions, which issue licenses authorizing the sale of alcoholic beverages. Other regulations regarding beer consumption in Mexico vary according to local jurisdiction and include limitations on the hours during which restaurants, bars and other retail outlets are allowed to sell beer and other alcoholic beverages. FEMSA Cerveza has been engaged in addressing these limitations at various levels, including efforts with governmental and civil authorities to promote better education for the responsible consumption of beer. For instance, as part of its ongoing community activities, FEMSA Cerveza was the first in implementing a nationwide designated driver program ( Conductor designado ) in Mexico.

Since July 1984, Mexican federal regulation has required that all forms of beer packaging carry a warning advising that excessive consumption of beer is hazardous to one’s health. In addition, the Ley General de Salud (General Health Law), requires that all beers sold in Mexico maintain a sanitation registration with the Secretaría de Salud (Ministry of Health).

Demographics of beer drinking population

We estimate that annual per capita beer consumption for the total Mexican population reached approximately 60 liters, or 0.6 hectoliters, in 2008, as compared to approximately 82 liters, or 0.8 hectoliters, in the United States. The legal drinking age is 18 in Mexico. We consider the population segment of men between the ages of 18 and 45 to be FEMSA Cerveza’s primary market. At least 37% of the Mexican population is under the age of 18 and, therefore, is not considered to be part of the beer drinking population.

Based on historical trends and what management perceives as the continued social acceptance of beer consumption, FEMSA Cerveza believes that general population growth will result in an increase in the number of beer consumers in Mexico. Based on historical trends as measured by the Mexican Institute of Statistics, we expect the Mexican population to grow at an average annual rate of approximately 0.7% per year over the period from 2009 to 2013. We estimate that over the next 10 years approximately 1.5 million additional people per year will become potential beer consumers due to the natural aging of the Mexican population.

 

42


Table of Contents

Macroeconomic influences affecting beer consumption

We believe that consumption activity in the Mexican beer market is heavily influenced by the general level of economic activity in Mexico, the country’s gross wage base, changes in real disposable income and employment levels. As a result, the beer industry reacts sharply to economic change. The industry generally experiences high volume growth in periods of economic strength and slower volume growth or volume contraction in periods of economic weakness. Domestic beer sales declined in Mexico in 1982, 1983 and 1995. These sales decreases correspond to periods in which the Mexican economy experienced severe disruptions. Similarly, the economic slowdown observed in 2002 corresponded to a reduction in domestic beer sales in 2002. In 2003, given the effect of a continued economic slowdown on consumers, FEMSA Cerveza decided not to increase prices. The reduction in prices in real terms (after giving effect to inflation) was the main driver for increasing sales volumes during 2003. In 2004, growth in Mexico’s gross domestic product was the main driver for increasing beer sales volume, despite price increases in nominal terms in the Mexican beer industry. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, beer sales volume growth outpaced growth in Mexico’s gross domestic product and in 2008, although FEMSA Cerveza experienced a reduction in consumer demand due to the general economic downturn, volume growth outpaced growth in Mexico’s gross domestic product for the fourth consecutive year.

Beer Prices

In 2006, FEMSA Cerveza increased prices in Mexico, however, this increase was below the Mexican consumer price index. During 2007, FEMSA Cerveza increased prices to partially compensate for the increase in raw material prices. In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza increased prices twice in the year, however the net effect was below the Mexican consumer price index.

According to the Banco de México’s consumer beer price index, for the Mexican beer industry as a whole, average consumer beer prices increased 6.8% in nominal terms in 2008, which means that prices increased 1.9% over average inflation.

Product Overview

As of December 31, 2008, in Mexico FEMSA Cerveza produced and/or distributed 21 brands of beer in 14 different presentations resulting in a portfolio of 109 different product offerings. The most important brands in FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican portfolio include: Tecate, Sol, Carta Blanca and Indio. These four brands, all of which are distributed nationwide in Mexico, accounted for approximately 87% of FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexico beer sales volume in 2008.

Per capita information, product segments, relative prices and packaging information with respect to FEMSA Cerveza have been computed and are based upon our statistics and assumptions.

Beer Presentations

In its Mexican operations, FEMSA Cerveza produces and distributes beer in returnable glass bottles and kegs and in non-returnable aluminum cans and glass bottles. FEMSA Cerveza uses the term presentation to reflect these packaging options.

Returnable presentations

The most popular form of packaging in the Mexican beer market is the returnable bottle. FEMSA Cerveza believes that the popularity of the returnable bottle is attributable to its lower price to the consumer. Returnable bottles may be reused an average of 30 times before being recycled. As a result, beer producers are able to charge lower prices for beer in returnable bottles. During periods when the Mexican economy is weak, returnable sales volume generally increase at a faster rate relative to non-returnable sales volume, given that non-returnable bottles are a more expensive presentation.

 

43


Table of Contents

Non-returnable presentations

FEMSA Cerveza’s presentation mix in Mexico has been growing in non-returnable presentations in the last few years, as we tailor our offering to consumer preferences and provide different convenient alternatives. However, we believe that demand for these presentations is highly sensitive to economic factors because of their higher prices. The vast majority of export sales are in non-returnable presentations.

Relative Pricing

Returnable bottles and kegs are the least expensive beer presentation on a per-milliliter basis. Cans and non-returnable bottles have historically been priced higher than returnable bottles. The consumer preference for presentations in cans has varied considerably over the past 20 years, rising in periods of economic prosperity and declining in periods of economic austerity, reflecting the price differential between these forms of packaging.

Seasonality

Demand for FEMSA Cerveza’s beer is highest in the Mexican summer season, and consequently, brewery utilization rates are at their highest during this period. Demand for FEMSA Cerveza’s products also tends to increase in the month of December, reflecting consumption during the holiday season. Demand for FEMSA Cerveza’s products decreases during the months of November, January and February primarily as a result of colder weather in the northern regions of Mexico.

Primary Distribution

FEMSA Cerveza’s primary distribution in Mexico is from its production facilities to its distribution centers’ warehouses. FEMSA Cerveza delivers to a combination of company-owned and third party distributors. In an effort to improve the efficiency and alignment of the distribution network, FEMSA Cerveza has adjusted its relationship with independent distributors by implementing franchise agreements and as a result, has achieved economies of scale through integration with FEMSA Cerveza’s operating systems. In recent years, FEMSA Cerveza has achieved infrastructure and personnel efficiencies through the integration of company-owned distribution centers. The results of these efficiencies have been partially diminished by the acquisition of third party distribution centers. FEMSA Cerveza has increased its directly distributed volume in respect of its Mexican beer sales volume to 91%, operating through 233 company-owned distribution centers. The remaining 9% of the beer sales volume was sold through 44 third party distribution centers, most of them operating under franchise agreements with FEMSA Cerveza. A franchise agreement is offered only to those distributors that meet certain standards of operating capabilities, performance and alignment. FEMSA Cerveza has historically and intends to continue in the future to acquire those distributors that do not meet these standards. Through this initiative FEMSA Cerveza will continue to seek to increase its Mexico beer sales volume through company-owned distribution centers.

In addition to distributing its own brands, on June 22, 2004, FEMSA Cerveza’s brewing subsidiary and Coors Brewing Company entered into an agreement pursuant to which FEMSA Cerveza’s subsidiary was appointed the exclusive importer, producer, distributor, marketer and seller of Coors Light beer in Mexico.

Retail Distribution

The main sales outlets for beer in Mexico are small, independently-owned “mom and pop” grocery stores, dedicated beer stores or “depósitos,” liquor stores and bars. Supermarkets account for only a small percentage of beer sales in Mexico. In addition, FEMSA Comercio operates a chain of 6,374 convenience stores under the trade name OXXO that exclusively sell FEMSA Cerveza’s brands.

The Mexican retail market is fragmented and characterized by a preponderance of small outlets that are unable and unwilling to maintain meaningful inventory levels, and therefore FEMSA Cerveza must make frequent product deliveries to its retailers. Through the pre-sale process, FEMSA Cerveza has improved its distribution practices, enhancing efficiency by separating the selling and distribution processes and consequently improving the effectiveness of routes. During 2008, FEMSA Cerveza implemented a new method of serving its customers by

 

44


Table of Contents

addressing customer needs through alternative pre-sale processes, through which FEMSA Cerveza seeks to increase its efficiency while at the same time improve the capabilities of its sales force to better implement sales strategies at the point of sale and serve different customer types better. As of the December 31, 2008, approximately 23% of the customers were served through alternative pre-sale processes including electronic ordering and telephone sales in a call center. See “—Marketing Strategy.”

As of December 31, 2008, FEMSA Cerveza serves approximately 340,000 retailers in Mexico and its distribution network operates approximately 2,307 retail distribution routes, which represent an increase of 170 routes, principally due to acquisitions of territories from third party distributors during 2008.

Enterprise Resource Planning

FEMSA Cerveza operates an Enterprise Resource Planning system, or ERP, that provides an information and control platform to support commercial activities nationwide in Mexico and correlate them with the administrative and business development decision-making processes occurring in FEMSA Cerveza’s central office. The Mexican beer sales volume of all FEMSA Cerveza’s company-owned distribution centers, including our main third party distributors, operates through ERP.

Marketing Strategy

FEMSA Cerveza focuses on the consumer by segmenting markets and positioning its brands, accordingly, striving to develop brand and packaging portfolios that provide the best alternatives for every consumption occasion at the appropriate price. By segmenting markets, we refer to the technique whereby we design and execute relevant and distinctive positioning and communication strategies that allow us to satisfy different consumer needs. Continuous market research provides feedback that is used to develop and adapt our product offerings to best satisfy our consumers’ needs. We are increasingly focused on micro-segmentation, where we use our market research and our information technology systems to target smaller market segments, including in some cases the individual point-of-sale.

FEMSA Cerveza also focuses on the retailer by designing and implementing channel marketing at the point-of-sale, such as promotional programs providing merchandising materials and, where appropriate, refrigeration equipment. A channel refers to a point-of-sale category, or sub-category, such as a supermarket, beer depot or restaurants. Furthermore, we are always attempting to develop new channels in order to capture incremental consumption opportunities for our brands.

In order to coordinate the brand and channel strategies, we are developing and implementing integrated marketing programs, which aim to improve brand value through the simultaneous use of mass media advertising and targeted marketing efforts at the point-of-sale as well as event sponsorships. Our marketing program for a particular brand seeks to emphasize in a consistent manner the distinctive attributes of that brand.

FEMSA Cerveza implemented an initiative to efficiently enable corporate growth strategies. This effort, which relies on our extensive consumer and market research practices, seeks the development of new packaging and product alternatives that allow us to capture new consumers and to strengthen the presence of our brands through brand line extensions. Innovation has been a key priority at FEMSA Cerveza and has been implemented throughout the value chain with the objective of allowing FEMSA Cerveza to continue to offer different options to consumers.

Plants and Facilities

FEMSA Cerveza currently operates six breweries in Mexico with an aggregate monthly production capacity of 3.09 million hectoliters, equivalent to approximately 37.080 million hectoliters of annual capacity. Each of FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican breweries have received ISO 9001 and 9002 certification and a Clean Industry Certification ( Certificado de Industria Limpia ) given by Mexican environmental authorities. A key consideration in the selection of a site for a brewery is its proximity to potential markets, as the cost of transportation is a critical component of the overall cost of beer to the consumer. FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican breweries are strategically located across the country, as shown in the table below, to better serve FEMSA Cerveza’s distribution system.

 

45


Table of Contents

LOGO

FEMSA Cerveza Mexico Facility Capacity Summary

Year Ended December 31, 2008

 

Brewery

   Average
Annualized
Capacity
 
     (in thousands
of hectoliters)
 

Orizaba

   10,200   

Monterrey

   7,800   

Toluca

   5,400   

Navojoa

   5,400   

Tecate

   4,680   

Guadalajara

   3,600   
      

Total

   37,080   
      

Average capacity utilization

   80.9
      

Between 2004 and 2008, FEMSA Cerveza increased its average monthly production capacity by approximately 282,000 hectoliters through additional investments in existing facilities.

FEMSA Cerveza operates seven effluent water treatment systems in Mexico to treat the water used by the breweries, all of which are wholly owned by FEMSA Cerveza except for the effluent treatment system at the Orizaba brewery, which is a joint venture among FEMSA Cerveza, several other local companies and the government of the state of Veracruz.

 

46


Table of Contents

In November 2007, FEMSA Cerveza announced an investment of US$ 275 million for the construction of a new brewery in Meoqui, Chihuahua, in Northern Mexico and as of December 31, 2008 FEMSA Cerveza had invested Ps. 221 million (US$ 16 million) in the project. Due to the downturn in the global economy and the resulting adjustments to our capacity expansion strategy, we have delayed the construction and expect to begin operations in 2012 instead of 2010, as originally planned.

Glass Bottles and Cans

FEMSA Cerveza produces (1) beverage cans and can ends, (2) glass bottles and (3) crown caps for glass bottle presentations principally to meet the packaging needs of its Mexican operations. The packaging operations include a silica sand mine, which provides materials necessary for the production of glass bottles. The following table provides a summary of the facilities for these operations:

FEMSA Cerveza Mexico Glass Bottle and Beverage Can Operations Product Summary

Year Ended December 31, 2008

 

Product

   Location    Annual Production
Capacity (1)
   % Average Capacity
Utilization

Beverage cans

   Ensenada    1,700    85.2
   Toluca    3,000    90.8
      4,700    88.8

Can ends

   Monterrey    5,100    89.0

Crown cap

   Monterrey    18,000    85.1

Glass bottles

   Orizaba    1,300    79.7

Bottle decoration

   Nogales    330    57.0

Silica sand

   Acayucan    720    98.9

 

(1) Amounts are expressed in millions of units of each product, except for silica sand which is expressed in thousands of tons.

Two plants produce aluminum beverage can bodies at production facilities in Ensenada and Toluca, and another plant produces can ends at a production facility in Monterrey. During 2008, 64.0% of the beverage can volume produced by these plants was used by FEMSA Cerveza and the remaining amount was sold to third parties.

Glass bottles are produced at a glass production facility in Orizaba, Veracruz and bottles are decorated at a plant in Nogales, Veracruz. During 2008, 68.4% of the glass bottle volume produced by these plants was used by FEMSA Cerveza, 20.2% was sold to Coca-Cola FEMSA and 11.4% was sold to third parties.

In addition to the construction of the new brewery in Meoqui, Chihuahua, FEMSA Cerveza announced a US$ 117 million investment for the construction of a new glass bottle facility in Meoqui, which has also been delayed and is expected to begin operations in 2012.

Raw Materials

Malted barley, hops, certain grains, yeast and water are the principal ingredients used in manufacturing FEMSA Cerveza’s beer products. The principal raw materials used by FEMSA Cerveza’s packaging plants include aluminum, steel and silica sand. All of these raw materials are generally available in the open market. FEMSA Cerveza satisfies its commodity requirements through purchases from various sources, including purchases pursuant to contractual arrangements and purchases in the open market.

 

47


Table of Contents

Aluminum and steel are two of the most significant raw materials used in FEMSA Cerveza’s packaging operations to make aluminum cans, can ends and bottle caps. FEMSA Cerveza purchases aluminum and steel directly from international and local suppliers on a contractual basis. Companies such as Alcoa, Nittetsu-Shoji, Novelis, CSN, Rasselstein and AHMSA have been selected as suppliers. Prices of aluminum and steel are generally quoted in U.S. dollars, and FEMSA Cerveza’s cost is therefore affected by changes in exchange rates. For example, a depreciation of the Mexican peso against the U.S. dollar will increase the cost to FEMSA Cerveza of aluminum and steel, and will decrease FEMSA Cerveza’s margins as its sales are generally denominated in Mexican pesos. To date, FEMSA Cerveza’s silica sand mine has been able to satisfy all of the silica sand requirements of its glass bottle plant.

Barley is FEMSA Cerveza’s most significant raw material for the production of its beer products. International markets determine the prices and supply sources of agricultural raw materials, which are affected by the level of crop production, inventories, weather conditions, domestic and export demand, as well as government regulations affecting agriculture. The principal source of barley for the Mexican beer industry is the domestic harvest. If domestic production in Mexico is insufficient to meet the industry’s requirements, barley (or its equivalent in malt) can be obtained from international markets. Raw material prices have increased in recent years, in particular the price for barley due to the fact that during 2006 and 2007 the harvests of Europe and Australia (two of the largest producers) fell because of droughts and untimely rains. Additionally, the price of wheat, which is not an ingredient of our beers, but competes for land with barley and other grains, increased significantly in 2007 and during most of 2008, adding pressure to the price of grains worldwide. In the second half of 2008, wheat prices declined due to higher harvests and lower demand.

As part of its normal operations, FEMSA Cerveza uses derivative financial instruments to hedge risk exposures associated with the price of some raw materials that are traded on international markets, such as aluminum, natural gas and wheat.

Brazil Operations

The Brazilian Beer Market

The Brazilian beer market was the third largest beer market in the world in terms of industry sales volume in 2008 and is characterized by (1) concentrated domestic beer production, (2) favorable demographics in the beer drinking population, and (3) a fragmented retail channel.

Concentrated Brazilian beer production

The Brazilian beer market is comprised of one large producer holding substantial market share, three medium sized producers, and some minor regional brewers. The large producer is Companhia de Bebidas das Americas, or AmBev, a publicly traded company based in Sao Paulo that is majority-owned by the Belgian brewer A-B InBev which principal beer brands are Skol, Brahma and Antarctica. AmBev is also a large bottler of sparkling beverages, with brands such as Guaraná Antarctica and Pepsi Cola. The three medium sized producers are FEMSA Cerveza, Grupo Schincariol, whose main brand is Nova Schin , and Cervejaria Petropolis, whose main brands are Itaipava and Crystal . FEMSA Cerveza’s sales in the Brazilian market depend on its ability to compete in a complex competitive environment with a large producer with predominant market share and two strong regional local brewers. Historically, beer imports have not been a significant factor in the Brazilian beer market, but are increasing as the super premium beer segment develops.

Demographics of beer drinking population

We estimate that annual per capita beer consumption for the total Brazilian population reached approximately 54 liters in 2008. The legal drinking age is 18 in Brazil. We consider the population segment of men between the ages of 18 and 45 to be FEMSA Cerveza’s primary market. Approximately 32% of the Brazilian population is under the age of 18 and, therefore, is not considered to be part of the beer drinking population.

Based on historical trends and what management perceives as the continued social acceptance of beer consumption, FEMSA Cerveza believes that general population growth will result in an increase in the number of beer consumers in Brazil. Based on historical trends as measured by the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e

 

48


Table of Contents

Estadística (Brazilian Institute of Statistics, or IBGE), we expect the Brazilian population to grow at an average annual rate of approximately 0.9% per year over the period from 2009 to 2013. We estimate that over the next 10 years approximately in excess of 3 million additional people per year will become potential beer consumers due to the natural aging of the Brazilian population.

Product Overview

As of December 31, 2008, in Brazil FEMSA Cerveza produced and/or distributed 15 brands of beer in 8 different presentations resulting in a portfolio of 40 different product offerings. The most important brands in FEMSA Cerveza’s Brazilian portfolio include: Kaiser, Bavaria Clásica, Sol, Heineken and Xingu. These five brands, all of which are distributed nationwide in Brazil, accounted for approximately 96% of FEMSA Cerveza’s Brazil beer sales volume in 2008.

Beer Presentations

In its Brazilian breweries, FEMSA Cerveza produces and distributes beer in returnable glass bottles and kegs and in non-returnable aluminum cans and glass bottles. In the Brazilian beer market, the most popular presentation is the 600 ml returnable bottle because of the affordability of this presentation combined with its popularity in the on-premise segment. However, in the past years the sales volume mix has slightly shifted towards non-returnable presentations, which can be attributed in part to improvements in the Brazilian economy and changes in consumer habits.

Primary Distribution

FEMSA Cerveza’s primary distribution in Brazil is from its production facilities to the warehouses of the various Coca-Cola franchise bottlers in Brazil. There are 19 Coca-Cola bottlers across Brazil, each responsible for a certain geographic territory including subsidiaries of Coca-Cola FEMSA.

Retail Sales and Distribution

FEMSA Cerveza relies on the 19 different bottlers of the Coca-Cola system across Brazil for the sale and secondary distribution of our beers. The bottlers leverage their infrastructure, sales force, expertise, distribution assets and refrigeration equipment at the point of sale to offer a broad portfolio of products to the retailer.

Plants and Facilities

FEMSA Cerveza currently operates eight breweries in Brazil with an aggregate monthly production capacity of 1.7 million hectoliters, equivalent to approximately 20 million hectoliters of annual capacity. All eight Brazilian breweries have received ISO 9001, ISO 14.001 and OHASA 18.001 certifications. A key consideration in the selection of a site for a brewery is its proximity to potential markets, as the cost of transportation is a critical component of the overall cost of beer to the consumer. FEMSA Cerveza’s Brazilian breweries are strategically located across the country, as shown in the table below, to better serve FEMSA Cerveza’s distribution system.

 

49


Table of Contents

FEMSA Cerveza Brazil Facility Allocation

as of December 31, 2008

LOGO

FEMSA Cerveza Brazil Facility Capacity Summary

Year Ended December 31, 2008

 

Brewery

   Average
Annualized
Capacity
 
     (in thousands
of hectoliters)
 

Jacareí

   7,864   

Ponta Grossa

   3,100   

Araraquara

   2,800   

Feira de Santana

   1,972   

Pacatuba

   1,800   

Gravataí

   1,752   

Cuiabá

   420   

Manaus

   480   
      

Total

   20,188   
      

Average capacity utilization

   50.7
      

Exports

FEMSA Cerveza’s principal export market is the United States and its export strategy focuses on that country. In particular, FEMSA Cerveza concentrates efforts on its core markets located in the sun-belt states bordering Mexico, while seeking to develop its brands in key imported beer markets located in the eastern United States. FEMSA Cerveza believes that these two regions of the United States represent one of its greatest potential market outside of Mexico.

 

50


Table of Contents

Prior to January 1, 2005, Labatt USA was the importer of FEMSA Cerveza’s brands in the United States. On June 21, 2004, FEMSA Cerveza and two of its subsidiaries entered into distributor and sublicense agreements with Heineken USA. In accordance with these agreements, on January 1, 2005, Heineken USA became the exclusive importer, marketer and seller of FEMSA Cerveza’s brands in the United States. In April 2007, FEMSA Cerveza and Heineken USA entered into a new ten-year agreement pursuant to which Heineken USA will continue to be the exclusive importer, marketer and distributor of FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States. This agreement went into effect on January 1, 2008.

Export beer sales volume of 3,479 million hectoliters in 2008 represented 8.5% of FEMSA Cerveza’s total beer sales volume. FEMSA Cerveza’s export beer revenues of Ps. 3,608 represented 8.5% of total revenues in 2008. The following table highlights FEMSA Cerveza’s export beer sales volumes and export beer sales:

FEMSA Cerveza Export Summary

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004  

Export beer sales volume (1)

   3,479      3,183      2,811      2,438      2,240   

Volume growth (2)

   9.3   13.2   15.3   8.8   13.0

Percent of total beer sales volumes (3)

   8.5   8.0   7.4   9.0   8.7

Mexican pesos (4) (millions)

   3,608      3,339      2,977      2,717      2,008   

U.S. dollars (5) (millions)

   327      299      256      227      156   

Revenue growth (US$) (2)

   9.4   16.5   13.0   45.8   16.7

Percent of total beer revenues

   8.5   8.4   8.1   10.2   8.1

 

Source: FEMSA Cerveza.

 

(1) Thousands of hectoliters.

 

(2) Percentage change over prior year.

 

(3) Information prior to 2006 does not include Kaiser sales volume.

 

(4) Mexican pesos at December 31, 2008.

 

(5) Export beer sales are invoiced and collected in U.S. dollars.

FEMSA Cerveza currently exports its products to 52 countries. The principal export market for FEMSA Cerveza is North America, which accounted for 88% of FEMSA Cerveza’s export beer sales volume in 2008.

FEMSA Cerveza’s principal export brands are Tecate, XX Lager , Dos Equis (Amber) and Sol . These brands collectively accounted for 91.7% of FEMSA Cerveza’s export sales volume for the year ended December 31, 2008.

FEMSA Comercio

Overview and Background

FEMSA Comercio operates the largest chain of convenience stores in Mexico, measured in terms of number of stores as of December 31, 2008, under the trade name OXXO. As of December 31, 2008, FEMSA Comercio operated 6,374 OXXO stores located throughout the country, with a particularly strong presence in the northern part of Mexico.

FEMSA Comercio, the largest single customer of FEMSA Cerveza and of the Coca-Cola system in Mexico, was established by FEMSA in 1978 when two OXXO stores were opened in Monterrey, one store in Mexico City and another store in Guadalajara. The motivating factor behind FEMSA’s entrance into the retail industry was to enhance beer sales through company-owned retail outlets as well as to gather information on customer preferences. In 2008, sales of beer through OXXO represented 12.3% of FEMSA Cerveza’s domestic beer sales volume as well as approximately 14.6% of FEMSA Comercio’s revenues. In 2008, a typical OXXO store carried 1,777 different store keeping units (SKUs) in 31 main product categories.

 

51


Table of Contents

In recent years, FEMSA Comercio has gained importance as an effective distribution channel for our beverage products, as well as a rapidly growing point of contact with our consumers. Based on the belief that location plays a major role in the long-term success of a retail operation such as a convenience store, as well as a role in our continually improving ability to accelerate and streamline the new-store development process, FEMSA Comercio has focused on a strategy of rapid, profitable growth. FEMSA Comercio opened 706, 716 and 811 net new OXXO stores in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively. The accelerated expansion yielded total revenue growth of 12.0% to reach Ps. 47,146 million in 2008. Same store sales increased 0.4% reflecting the mix shift from pre-paid wireless phone cards to the sale of electronic air-time, for which only the margin is recorded, not the full amount of the air-time recharge. FEMSA Comercio performed approximately 1,695 million transactions in 2008 compared to 1,357 million in 2007.

Business Strategy

A fundamental element of FEMSA Comercio’s business strategy is to utilize its position in the convenience store market to grow in a cost-effective and profitable manner. As a market leader in convenience store retailing, based on internal company surveys, management believes that FEMSA Comercio has an in-depth understanding of its markets and significant expertise in operating a national store chain. FEMSA Comercio intends to continue increasing its store base while capitalizing on the market knowledge gained at existing stores.

FEMSA Comercio has developed proprietary models to assist in identifying appropriate store locations, store formats and product categories. Its model utilizes location-specific demographic data and FEMSA Comercio’s experience in similar locations to fine tune the store format and product offerings to the target market. Market segmentation is becoming an important strategic tool, and it should increasingly allow FEMSA Comercio to improve the operating efficiency of each location and the overall profitability of the chain.

FEMSA Comercio has made and will continue to make significant investments in information technology to improve its ability to capture customer information from its existing stores and to improve its overall operating performance. All products carried through OXXO stores are bar-coded, and all OXXO stores are equipped with point-of-sale systems that are integrated into a company-wide computer network. To implement revenue management strategies, FEMSA Comercio created a division in charge of product category management for products, such as beverages, fast food and perishables, to enhance and better utilize its consumer information base and market intelligence capabilities. FEMSA Comercio has implemented an ERP system, which will allow FEMSA Comercio to redesign its key operating processes and enhance the usefulness of its market information going forward.

FEMSA Comercio has adopted innovative promotional strategies in order to increase store traffic and sales. In particular, FEMSA Comercio sells high-frequency items such as beverages, snacks and cigarettes at competitive prices. FEMSA Comercio’s ability to implement this strategy profitably is partly attributable to the size of the OXXO chain, as FEMSA Comercio is able to work together with its suppliers to implement their revenue-management strategies through differentiated promotions. OXXO’s national and local marketing and promotional strategies are an effective revenue driver and a means of reaching new segments of the population while strengthening the OXXO brand. For example, the organization has refined its expertise in executing cross promotions (discounts on multi-packs or sales of complementary products at a special price) and targeted promotions to attract new customer segments, such as housewives, by expanding the offerings in the grocery product category in certain stores. FEMSA Comercio is also strengthening its capabilities to increasingly provide consumers with services such as utility bill payment and other basic transactions.

Store Locations

With 6,374 OXXO stores in Mexico as of December 31, 2008, FEMSA Comercio operates the largest convenience store chain in Latin America measured by number of stores. OXXO stores are concentrated in the northern part of Mexico, but also have a growing presence in central Mexico and the Gulf coast.

 

52


Table of Contents

FEMSA Comercio

Regional Allocation of Oxxo Stores

as of December 31, 2008

LOGO

FEMSA Comercio has aggressively expanded its number of stores over the past several years. The average investment required to open a new store varies, depending on location and format and whether the store is opened in an existing retail location or requires construction of a new store. FEMSA Comercio is generally able to use supplier credit to fund the initial inventory of new stores.

Growth in Total OXXO Stores

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004  

Total OXXO stores

   6,374      5,563      4,847      4,141      3,466   

Store growth (% change over previous year)

   14.6   14.8   17.0   19.5   23.9

FEMSA Comercio currently expects to continue the growth trend established over the past several years by emphasizing growth in areas of high economic potential in existing markets and by expanding in underserved and unexploited markets. Management believes that the southeast part of Mexico is particularly underserved by the convenience store industry.

 

53


Table of Contents

The identification of locations and pre-opening planning in order to optimize the results of new stores are important elements in FEMSA Comercio’s growth plan. FEMSA Comercio continuously reviews store performance against certain operating and financial benchmarks to optimize the overall performance of the chain. Stores unable to maintain benchmark standards are generally closed. Between December 31, 2004 and 2008, the total number of OXXO stores increased by 2,908 which resulted from the opening of 3,018 new stores and the closing of 110 existing stores.

Competition

OXXO competes in the convenience store segment of the retail market with 7-Eleven, Super Extra, Super City, Circle-K and AM/PM, as well as other local convenience stores. The format of these stores is similar to the format of the OXXO stores. OXXO competes both for consumers and for new locations for stores and the managers to operate those stores. Based on an internal market survey conducted by FEMSA Comercio, management believes that, as of December 31, 2008, there were approximately 10,052 stores in Mexico that could be considered part of the convenience store segment of the retail market. OXXO is the largest chain in Mexico, operating almost two-thirds of these stores. Furthermore, FEMSA Comercio operates in the 32 Mexican states and has much broader geographical coverage than any of its competitors in Mexico.

Market and Store Characteristics

Market Characteristics

FEMSA Comercio is placing increased emphasis on market segmentation and differentiation of store formats to more appropriately serve the needs of customers on a location-by-location basis. The principal segments include residential neighborhoods, commercial and office locations and stores near schools and universities, along with other types of specialized locations.

Approximately 67% of OXXO’s customers are between the ages of 15 and 35. FEMSA Comercio also segments the market according to demographic criteria, including income level.

Store Characteristics

The average size of an OXXO store is approximately 109 square meters of selling space, excluding space dedicated to refrigeration, storage or parking. The average constructed area of a store is approximately 186 square meters and, when parking areas are included, the average store size increases to approximately 443 square meters.

FEMSA Comercio—Operating Indicators

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2007     2006     2005     2004  
     (percentage increase compared to previous year)  

Total FEMSA Comercio revenues

   12.0   14.3   18.7   21.8   24.8

OXXO same-store sales (1)

   0.4   3.3   8.2   8.7   8.9
     (percentage of total)  

Beer-related data:

          

Beer sales as % of total store sales

   14.6   13.4   13.5   13.0   13.4

OXXO store sales as a % of FEMSA Cerveza’s volume

   12.3   11.0   9.9   8.6   7.3

 

(1) Same-store sales growth is calculated by comparing the sales of stores for each year that have been in operation for at least 13 months with the sales of those same stores during the previous year.

Beer, telephone cards, soft drinks and cigarettes represent the main product categories for OXXO stores. FEMSA Comercio has a distribution agreement with FEMSA Cerveza. As a result of this agreement, OXXO stores only carry beer brands produced and distributed by FEMSA Cerveza. Prior to 2001, OXXO stores had informal agreements with Coca-Cola bottlers, including Coca-Cola FEMSA’s territories in central Mexico, to sell only their products. Since 2001, a limited number of OXXO stores began selling Pepsi products in certain cities in northern Mexico, as part of a defensive competitive strategy.

 

54


Table of Contents

Approximately 72% of OXXO stores are operated by independent managers responsible for all aspects of store operations. The managers are commission agents and are not employees of FEMSA Comercio. Each store manager is the legal employer of the store’s staff, which typically numbers six people per store. FEMSA Comercio continually invests in on-site operating personnel, with the objective of promoting loyalty, customer-service and low personnel turnover in the stores.

Advertising and Promotion

FEMSA Comercio’s marketing efforts include both specific product promotions and image advertising campaigns. These strategies seek to increase store traffic and sales, and to reinforce the OXXO name and market position.

FEMSA Comercio manages its advertising on three levels depending on the nature and scope of the specific campaign: local or store-specific, regional and national. Store-specific and regional campaigns are closely monitored to ensure consistency with the overall corporate image of OXXO stores and to avoid conflicts with national campaigns. FEMSA Comercio primarily uses point of purchase materials, flyers, handbills and print and radio media for promotional campaigns, although television is used occasionally for the introduction of new products and services. The OXXO chain’s image and brand name are presented consistently across all stores, irrespective of location.

Inventory and Purchasing

FEMSA Comercio has placed considerable emphasis on improving operating performance. As part of these efforts, FEMSA Comercio continues to invest in extensive information management systems to improve inventory management. Electronic data collection has enabled FEMSA Comercio to reduce average inventory levels. Inventory replenishment decisions are carried out on a store-by-store basis.

Management believes that the OXXO chain’s scale of operations provides FEMSA Comercio with a competitive advantage in its ability to realize strategic alliances with suppliers. General category offerings are determined on a national level, although purchasing decisions are implemented on a local, regional or national level, depending on the nature of the product category. Given the fragmented nature of the retail industry in Mexico in general, Mexican producers of beer, soft drinks, bread, dairy products, snacks, cigarettes and other high-frequency products have established proprietary distribution systems with extensive direct distribution routes. As a result, approximately 53% of the products carried by the OXXO chain are delivered directly to the stores by suppliers. Other products with longer shelf lives are distributed to stores by FEMSA Comercio’s distribution system, which includes ten regional warehouses located in Monterrey, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Mexicali, Mérida, León, Obregón, Puebla, Chihuahua and Reynosa. The distribution centers operate a fleet of approximately 317 trucks that make deliveries to each store approximately once a week.

Seasonality

OXXO stores experience periods of high demand in December, as a result of the holidays, and in July and August, as a result of increased consumption of beer and soft drinks during the hot summer months. The months of November and February are generally the weakest sales months for OXXO stores. In general, colder weather during these months reduces store traffic and consumption of cold beverages.

Other Stores

FEMSA Comercio also operates other stores under the names Bara, Six and Matador.

 

55


Table of Contents

Other Business

Our other business consists of the following smaller operations that support our core operations:

 

   

Our commercial refrigerators, labels and flexible packaging subsidiaries. The refrigeration business produces vertical and horizontal commercial refrigerators for the soft drink, beer and food industries, with an annual capacity of 192,480 units at December 31, 2008. In 2008, this business sold 180,320 refrigeration units, 33.2% of which were sold to Coca-Cola FEMSA, 19.1% of which were sold to FEMSA Cerveza and the remainder of which were sold to third parties. The labeling and flexible packaging business has its facility in Monterrey with an annual production capacity of 335,081 thousands meters of flexible packaging. In 2008, this business sold 43% of its label sales volume to FEMSA Cerveza, 21% to Coca-Cola FEMSA and 36% to third parties. Management believes that growth at these businesses will continue to reflect the marketing strategies of Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza.

 

   

Our logistics services subsidiary provides logistics services to Coca-Cola FEMSA, FEMSA Empaques, the packaging operations of FEMSA Cerveza, FEMSA Comercio and third party clients that either supply or participate directly in the Mexican beverage industry or in other industries. This business provides integrated logistics support for its clients’ supply chain, including the management of carriers and other supply chain services.

 

   

One of our subsidiaries is the owner of the Mundet brands of soft drinks and certain concentrate production equipment, which are licensed to and produced and distributed by Coca-Cola FEMSA.

 

   

Our corporate services subsidiary employs all of our corporate staff, including the personnel managing the areas of finance, corporate accounting, taxation, legal, financial and strategic planning, human resources and internal audit. Through this subsidiary, we direct, control, supervise and review the operations of our sub-holding companies. FEMSA Cerveza, FEMSA Comercio and our packaging subsidiaries pay management fees for the services provided to them. In addition, FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA have each entered into a services agreement pursuant to which they pay for specific services.

Description of Property, Plant and Equipment

As of December 31, 2008, we owned all of our manufacturing facilities and substantially all of our warehouses and distribution centers. Our properties primarily consisted of production and distribution facilities for our beer and soft drink operations and office space. In addition, FEMSA Comercio owns approximately 12.6% of the OXXO store locations, while the other stores are located in properties that are rented under long-term lease arrangements with third parties.

 

56


Table of Contents

The table below sets forth the location, principal use and production area of our production facilities, and the sub-holding company that owns such facilities.

Production Facilities of FEMSA

As of December 31, 2008

 

Sub-holding Company

  

Location

   Principal Use    Production Area
               (in thousands
of sq. meters)

Coca-Cola FEMSA

        

Mexico

   San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    45
   Cuautitlán, Estado de México    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    35
   Los Reyes la Paz, Estado de México    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    50
   Toluca, Estado de México    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    242
   Celaya, Guanajuato    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    87
   León, Guanajuato    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    38
   Morelia, Michoacan    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    50
   Ixtacomitán, Tabasco    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    117
   Apizaco, Tlaxcala    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    80
   Coatepec, Veracruz    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    142

Guatemala

   Guatemala City    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    47

Nicaragua

   Managua    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    54

Costa Rica

   Calle Blancos, San José    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    52
   Coronado, San José    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    14

Panama

   Panama City    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    29

Colombia

   Barranquilla    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    37
   Bogotá    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    105
   Bucaramanga    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    26
   Cali    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    76
   Manantial    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    67
   Medellín    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    47

Venezuela

   Antimano    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    15
   Barcelona    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    141
   Maracaibo    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    68
   Valencia    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    100

Brazil

   Campo Grande    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    36
   Jundiaí    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    191
   Mogi das Cruzes    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    119
   Belo Horizonte    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    73

Argentina

   Alcorta    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    73
   Montes Grande, Buenos Aires    Soft Drink Bottling Plant    78

 

57


Table of Contents

Sub-holding Company

  

Location

   Principal Use    Production Area
               (in thousands
of sq. meters)

FEMSA Cerveza

        
   Tecate, Baja California    Brewery    586
   Toluca, Estado de México    Brewery    375
   Guadalajara, Jalisco    Brewery    117
   Monterrey, Nuevo León    Brewery    445
   Navojoa, Sonora    Brewery    548
   Orizaba, Veracruz    Brewery    281
   Pachuca, Hidalgo    Malt Plant    31
   San Marcos, Puebla    Malt Plant    110
   Ensenada, Baja California    Beverage Cans    33
   Toluca, Estado de México    Beverage Cans    22
   Monterrey, Nuevo León    Crown Caps and Can Lids    51
   Acayucan, Veracruz    Silica Sand Mine    9
   Nogales, Veracruz    Bottle Decoration    26
   Orizaba, Veracruz    Glass Bottles    23

Brazil

        
   Jacareí    Brewery    72
   Ponta Grossa    Brewery    44
   Araraquara    Brewery    38
   Feira de Santana    Brewery    26
   Pacatuba    Brewery    38
   Gravataí    Brewery    23
   Cuiabá    Brewery    20
   Manaus    Brewery    11

Insurance

We maintain an “all risk” insurance policy covering our properties (owned and leased), machinery and equipment and inventories as well as losses due to business interruptions. The policy covers damages caused by natural disaster, including hurricane, hail, earthquake and damages caused by human acts, including explosion, fire, vandalism, riot and losses incurred in connection with goods in transit. In addition, we maintain an “all risk” liability insurance policy that covers product liability. We purchase our insurance coverage through an insurance broker. The policies are issued by Allianz México, S.A. de C.V . for “all risk” property insurance and ACE Seguros, S.A. for “all risk” liability insurance, and the coverage is partially reinsured in the international reinsurance market. We believe that our coverage is consistent with the coverage maintained by similar companies operating in Mexico.

Capital Expenditures and Divestitures

Our consolidated capital expenditures for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007, and 2006 were Ps. 14,234 million, Ps. 11,257 million and Ps. 9,422 million respectively, and were for the most part financed from cash from operations generated by our subsidiaries. These amounts were invested in the following manner:

 

     Year Ended December 31,
     2008    2007    2006
     (in millions of Mexican pesos)

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   4,802    3,682    Ps. 2,863

FEMSA Cerveza

   6,418    5,373      4,419

FEMSA Comercio

   2,720    2,112      1,943

Other

   294    90      197
                

Total

   14,234    11,257    Ps. 9,422

 

58


Table of Contents

Coca-Cola FEMSA

During 2008, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s capital expenditures focused on investments in returnable bottles and cases, increasing plant operating capacity, placing coolers with retailers and improving the efficiency of distribution infrastructure. Capital expenditures in Mexico were approximately Ps. 1,926 million and accounted for approximately 40% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s capital expenditures.

FEMSA Cerveza

Production

During 2008, FEMSA Cerveza invested approximately Ps. 1,344 million on equipment substitution and upgrades in its facilities. FEMSA Cerveza’s monthly installed capacity as of December 31, 2008 was 4.78 million hectoliters, equivalent to an annualized installed capacity of 57.3 million hectoliters. In addition, FEMSA Cerveza invested Ps. 535 million in plant improvements and equipment upgrades for its beverage can and glass bottle operations.

Distribution

In 2008, FEMSA Cerveza invested Ps. 765 million in its distribution network. Approximately Ps. 275 million of this amount was invested in the replacement of trucks in its distribution fleet, Ps. 241 million in land, buildings and improvements to leased properties dedicated to various distribution functions, and the remaining Ps. 249 million in other distribution-related investments.

Market-related Investments

During 2008, FEMSA Cerveza invested Ps. 3,413 million in market-related activities and brand support in the domestic market. Approximately 56% of these investments were directed to customer agreements with retailers and commercial support to owned and third party distributors. Investments in retail agreements that exceed a one-year term are capitalized and amortized over the life of the agreement. In general, FEMSA Cerveza’s retail agreements are for a period of four to five years. Other market-related investments include the purchase of refrigeration equipment, coolers and billboards. These items are placed with retailers as a mean of facilitating the retailers’ ability to service consumers and to promote the image and profile of FEMSA Cerveza’s brands.

Information Technology Investments

In addition, during 2008, FEMSA Cerveza invested Ps. 238 million in system software projects.

FEMSA Comercio

FEMSA Comercio’s principal investment activity is the construction and opening of new stores. During 2008, FEMSA Comercio opened 811 net new OXXO stores. FEMSA Comercio invested Ps. 2,720 million in 2008 in the addition of new stores, warehouses and improvements to leased properties.

 

59


Table of Contents

Regulatory Matters

Competition Legislation

The Ley Federal de Competencia Económica (Federal Economic Competition Law or Mexican Competition Law) became effective on June 22, 1993. The Mexican Competition Law and the Reglamento de la Ley Federal de Competencia Económica (Regulations under the Mexican Competition Law), effective as of March 9, 1998, regulate monopolies and monopolistic practices and require Mexican government approval of certain mergers and acquisitions. The Mexican Competition Law subjects the activities of certain Mexican companies, including us, to regulatory scrutiny. In addition, the Regulations under the Mexican Competition Law prohibit members of any trade association from reaching any agreement relating to the price of their products. Management believes that we are currently in compliance in all material respects with Mexican competition legislation.

In Mexico and in some of the other countries in which we operate, we are involved in different ongoing competition related proceedings. We believe that the outcome of these proceedings will not have a material adverse effect on our financial position or results of operations. See “Item 8. Financial Information—Legal Proceedings—Coca-Cola FEMSA—Antitrust Matters.”

Environmental Matters

In all of the countries where we operate, our businesses are subject to federal and state laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment.

Mexico

In Mexico, the principal legislation is the Ley General del Equilibrio Ecológico y la Protección al Ambiente (Federal General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection or the Mexican Environmental Law) and the Ley General para la Prevención y Gestión Integral de los Residuos (General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste), which are enforced by the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources or SEMARNAT). SEMARNAT can bring administrative and criminal proceedings against companies that violate environmental laws, and it also has the power to temporarily close non-complying facilities. Under the Mexican Environmental Law, rules have been promulgated concerning water, air and noise pollution and hazardous substances. In particular, Mexican environmental laws and regulations require that we file periodic reports with respect to air and water emissions and hazardous wastes and set forth standards for waste water discharge that apply to our operations. We are also subject to certain minimal restrictions on the operation of delivery trucks in Mexico City. We have implemented several programs designed to facilitate compliance with air, waste, noise and energy standards established by current Mexican federal and state environmental laws, including a program that installs catalytic converters and liquid petroleum gas in delivery trucks for our operations in Mexico City. See “—Coca-Cola FEMSA—Product Distribution.”

In addition, we are subject to the Ley Federal de Derechos (Federal Law of Governmental Fees), also enforced by SEMARNAT. Adopted in January 1993, the law provides that plants in Mexico that use deep water wells to supply their water requirements must pay a fee to the city for the discharge of residual waste water to drainage. In 1995, certain municipal authorities began to test the quality of the waste water discharge and charge plants an additional fee for measurements that exceed certain standards published by SEMARNAT. All of our bottler plants located in Mexico City, as well as the Toluca plant, met these standards as of 2001.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Mexican operations established a partnership with The Coca-Cola Company and ALPLA, a supplier of plastic bottles to Coca-Cola FEMSA in Mexico, to create Industria Mexicana de Reciclaje (IMER), a PET recycling facility located in Toluca, Mexico. This facility started operations in 2005 and has a recycling capacity of 25,000 metric tons per year from which 15,000 metric tons can be re-used in PET bottles for food packaging purposes. Coca-Cola FEMSA has also continued contributing funds to a nationwide recycling company, Ecología y Compromiso Empresarial (Environmentally Committed Companies). In addition, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s plants located in Toluca, Reyes, Cuautitlán, Apizaco, San Cristobal, Morelia, Ixtacomitan and Coatepec have received a “ Certificado de Industria Limpia ” (Certificate of Clean Industry).

 

60


Table of Contents

Also, each of FEMSA Cerveza’s Mexican breweries has received ISO 9001 and 9002 certification and a Certificate of Clean Industry given by Mexican environmental authorities.

Central America

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Central American operations are subject to several federal and state laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, which have been enacted in the last ten years, as awareness has increased in this region about the protection of the environment and the disposal of dangerous and toxic materials as well as water usage. In some countries in Central America, Coca-Cola FEMSA is in the process of bringing its operations into compliance with new environmental laws. Also, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Costa Rica and Panama operations have participated in a joint effort along with the local division of The Coca-Cola Company called Misión Planeta (Mission Planet) for the collection and recycling of non-returnable plastic bottles.

Colombia

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Colombian operations are subject to several Colombian federal, state and municipal laws and regulations related to the protection of the environment and the disposal of treated water and toxic and dangerous materials. These laws include the control of atmospheric emissions, noise emissions, disposal of treated water and strict limitations on the use of chlorofluorocarbons. Coca-Cola FEMSA is also engaged in nationwide campaigns for the collection and recycling of glass and plastic bottles. Coca-Cola FEMSA has received a “ Certificación Ambiental Fase IV” (Phase IV Environmental Certificate) for each of its Columbian plants.

Venezuela

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Venezuelan operations are subject to several Venezuelan federal, state and municipal laws and regulations related to the protection of the environment. The most relevant of these laws are the Ley Orgánica del Ambiente (Organic Environmental Law), the Ley Sobre Sustancias, Materiales y Desechos Peligrosos (Substance, Material and Dangerous Waste Law), the Ley Penal del Ambiente (Criminal Environment Law) and the Ley de Aguas (Water Law). Since the enactment of the Organic Environmental Law in 1995, Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Venezuelan subsidiary has presented the proper authorities with plans to bring their production facilities and distribution centers into compliance with the law. While the laws provide certain grace periods for compliance with the new environmental standards, Coca-Cola FEMSA has had to adjust some of the originally proposed timelines presented to the authorities because of delays in the completion of some of these projects. Coca-Cola FEMSA is in the process of obtaining ISO 14000 certifications for all its plants in Venezuela.

Brazil

FEMSA Cerveza’s and Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Brazilian operations are subject to several federal, state and municipal laws and regulations related to the protection of the environment. Among the most relevant laws and regulations are those dealing with the emission of toxic and dangerous gases, disposal of solid waste and disposal of wastewater, which impose penalties, such as fines, facility closures or criminal charges depending upon the level of non-compliance.

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s production plant located in Jundiaí has been recognized by the Brazilian authorities for its compliance with environmental regulations and for having standards well above those imposed by the law. The plant has been certified for the (i) ISO 9001 since March 1995; (ii) ISO 14001 since March 1997; (iii) norm OHSAS 18001 since 2005; and iv) ISO 22000 since 2007. FEMSA Cerveza’s other plants and Coca-Cola FEMSA´s Brazilian operations are also ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified.

In Brazil it is necessary to obtain concessions from the government to cast drainage. All of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s plants in Brazil have been granted this concession, except Mogi das Cruzes, but Coca-Cola FEMSA is in the process of obtaining one.

 

61


Table of Contents

Argentina

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Argentine operations are subject to federal and provincial laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment. The most significant of these are regulations concerning waste water discharge, which are enforced by the Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable (Ministry of Natural Resources and Sustainable Development) and the Organismo Provincial para el Desarrollo Sostenible (Provincial Organization for Sustainable Development) for the province of Buenos Aires. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Alcorta plant is in compliance with environmental standards and has been certified for ISO 14001:2004 for the plants and operative units in Buenos Aires.

For all of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s plant operations, Coca-Cola FEMSA employs two environmental management systems: (i)  Sistema Integral de Calidad (Integral Quality System or SICKOF) and (ii)  Sistema de Administracion Ambiental (Environmental Administration System or EKOSYSTEM). We do not believe that Coca-Cola FEMSA’s business activities pose a material risk to the environment, and we believe that Coca-Cola FEMSA is in material compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

We have expended, and may be required to expend in the future, funds for compliance with and remediation under local environmental laws and regulations. Currently, we do not believe that such costs will have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, or financial condition. However, since environmental laws and regulations and their enforcement are becoming increasingly more stringent in our territories, and there is increased awareness by local authorities of higher environmental standards in the countries where we operate, changes in current regulations may result in an increase in costs, which may have an adverse effect on our future results of operations or financial condition. Management is not aware of any pending regulatory changes that would require a significant amount of additional remedial capital expenditures.

Water Supply Law

FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA purchase water in Mexico directly from municipal water companies and pump water from wells and rivers pursuant to concessions obtained from the Mexican government on a plant-by-plant basis. Water use in Mexico is regulated primarily by the Ley de Aguas Nacionales de 1992 (1992 Water Law), and regulations issued thereunder, which created the Comisión Nacional del Agua (National Water Commission). The National Water Commission is charged with overseeing the national system of water use. Under the 1992 Water Law, concessions for the use of a specific volume of ground or surface water generally run for five, ten, fifteen and up to thirty-year terms, depending on the supply of groundwater in each region as projected by the National Water Commission. Concessionaires may request concession terms to be extended upon termination. The Mexican government is authorized to reduce the volume of ground or surface water granted for use by a concession by whatever volume of water is not used by the concessionaire for two consecutive years. However, because the current concessions for each of FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA’s plants in Mexico do not match each plant’s projected needs for water in future years, we successfully negotiated with the Mexican government the right to transfer the unused volume under concessions from certain plants to other plants anticipating greater water usage in the future. These concessions may be terminated if, among other things, we use more water than permitted or we fail to pay required concession-related fees and do not cure such situations in a timely manner.

Although we have not undertaken independent studies to confirm the sufficiency of the existing or future groundwater supply, we believe that our existing concessions satisfy our current water requirements in Mexico.

In Brazil, we buy water directly from municipal utility companies and pump water from our own wells or rivers (Mogi das Cruzes, Campo Grande and FEMSA Cerveza’s plants) pursuant to concessions granted by the Brazilian government for each plant. According to the Brazilian Constitution, water is considered an asset of common use and may only be exploited for the national interest, by Brazilians or companies incorporated under Brazilian law. Dealers and users have the responsibility for any damage to the environment. The exploitation and use of water is regulated by the Código de Mineração (Code of Mining, Decree Law nº. 227/67), by the Código de Águas Minerais (Mineral Water Code, Decree Law nº. 7841/45), the National Water Resources Policy (Law nº. 9433/97) and by regulations issued thereunder. The companies that exploit water are supervised by the Departamento Nacional de Produçao Mineral—DNPM (National Department of Mineral Production) and the

 

62


Table of Contents

National Water Agency in connection with sanitary, federal health agencies, as well as state and municipal authorities. In FEMSA Cerveza’s Jundiaí and Belo Horizonte plants, we do not exploit mineral water. In the Mogi das Cruzes and Campo Grande plants, we have all the necessary permits related to the exploitation of mineral water.

In Colombia, we acquire water directly from our own wells and from aqueducts, and we are required to have a specific license to exploit water from private wells. Water use is regulated by resolution No. 1154 of 1997 and decree No. 4742 of 2005. Companies that exploit water are supervised by the National Institute of National Resources.

In Nicaragua and Costa Rica, we own and exploit our own private water wells. In Costa Rica we require a specific permit granted by the environmental authorities to exploit private wells. In Venezuela, we use private wells as well as water provided by the respective municipality, and we have taken what we believe to be appropriate actions to have water supply available from these sources. In the remainder of our territories, we obtain water from governmental agencies or municipalities.

We can give no assurances that water will be available in sufficient quantities to meet our future production needs, that we will be able to maintain our current concessions or that additional regulations relating to water use will not be adopted in the future in our territories. We believe we are in compliance with the terms of our existing water concessions and that we are in compliance with all relevant water regulations.

 

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

None

 

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with, and is entirely qualified by reference to, our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes to those financial statements. Our audited consolidated financial statements were prepared in accordance with Mexican Financial Reporting Standards, which differ in certain significant respects from U.S. GAAP. Notes 26 and 27 to our audited consolidated financial statements provide a description of the principal differences between Mexican Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. GAAP as they relate to us, as well as U.S. GAAP consolidated balance sheets, statements of income and comprehensive income, changes in stockholders’ equity and cash flows for the same periods presented for Mexican Financial Reporting Standards purposes and a reconciliation to U.S. GAAP of net income and stockholders’ equity. See “—U.S. GAAP Reconciliation.”

Overview of Events, Trends and Uncertainties

Management currently considers the following events, trends and uncertainties to be important to understanding its results of operations and financial position during the periods discussed in this section:

 

   

While Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Mexican operations continue growing at a steady but moderate pace, operations in Central and South America are growing at accelerated rates. The Coca-Cola brand, together with the recently added still-beverage operation, delivered the majority of volume growth.

 

   

At FEMSA Cerveza, total beer sales volumes have increased in Mexico, Brazil and in the export market. The high price of raw materials, particularly aluminum and barley, represent an uncertainty in our cost structure. Heineken USA has been distributing FEMSA Cerveza’s beer brands in the United States since January 1, 2005 with very encouraging results, and we have signed a new agreement that extends this commercial relationship until December 2017.

 

   

FEMSA Comercio accelerated its rate of OXXO store openings and continues to grow in terms of total revenues and as a percentage of our consolidated total revenues. FEMSA Comercio has lower operating margins than our beverage businesses. We expect to continue to expand the OXXO chain during 2009.

 

63


Table of Contents

Our results of operations and financial position are affected by the economic and market conditions in the countries where our subsidiaries conduct their operations, particularly in Mexico. Changes in these conditions are influenced by a number of factors, including those discussed in “Item 3. Key Information—Risk Factors.”

 

64


Table of Contents

Recent Developments

Changes in Mexican Financial Reporting Standards

Discontinued Inflationary Accounting for Non-Inflationary Economic Environments and Required Presentation of Statement of Cash Flows

In accordance with Mexican Financial Reporting Standard NIF B-10, we discontinued inflationary accounting beginning on January 1, 2008 for our subsidiaries that operate in non-inflationary economic environments, which are defined as those economies in which cumulative inflation rates are less than 26% on average over the preceding three years. In 2008, our subsidiaries in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil and Panama were operating in non-inflationary economic environments. We still recognize inflationary accounting for our subsidiaries that operate in countries in which inflation rates over the three preceding years are 26% or greater, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Argentina. The application of these new standards is prospective from January 1, 2008, or the “date of application” and, as a result, historical information has not been restated. See Note 2a) of our consolidated financial statements.

In 2008, we also adopted NIF B-2 (“Statement of Cash Flows”), which requires the presentation of our statement of cash flows as part of our consolidated financial statements. NIF B-2 classifies cash receipts and payments according to whether they derive from operating, investing or financing activities, and provides definitions for each category. The adoption of NIF B-2 is prospective and, accordingly, the cash flow statement for the year ended December 31, 2008 is not comparable to the statements of changes in financial position for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006. See “— Liquidity and Capital Resources—Liquidity.”

The Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission has announced the adoption of International Reporting Standards for public companies

The Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (Mexican National Banking and Securities Commission, or CNBV) has announced that commencing in 2012, all Mexican public companies must report their financial information in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Since 2006, the Consejo Mexicano para la Investigación y Desarrollo de Normas de Información Financiera (Mexican Board of Research and Development of Financial Reporting Standards) has been modifying Mexican Financial Reporting Standards in order to ensure their convergance with IFRS. We are in the process of analyzing the potential impacts of adopting these standards.

Effects of Changes in Economic Conditions

Our results of operations are affected by changes in economic conditions in Mexico and in the other countries in which we operate. For the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006, 66%, 69% and 73%, respectively, of our total sales were attributable to Mexico. After the acquisitions of Panamco and Kaiser, we have greater exposure to countries in which we have not historically conducted operations, particularly countries in Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil, although we continue to generate a substantial portion of our total sales from Mexico. The participation of these other countries as a percentage of our total sales has increased during the last five years and is expected to continue increasing in future periods.

The Mexican economy is currently experiencing a downturn as a result of the impact of the global financial crisis in many emerging economies during the second half of last year. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Mexican GDP contracted by approximately 1.7% compared to the same period in 2007, and Banco de Mexico expects GDP to contract by approximately 5% in 2009, as of its last estimate. The Mexican economy continues to be heavily influenced by the U.S. economy, and therefore, further deterioration in economic conditions in, or delays in the recovery of, the U.S. economy may hinder any recovery in Mexico.

Our future results may be significantly affected by the general economic and financial positions in the countries where we operate, including by levels of economic growth, by the devaluation of the local currency, by inflation and high interest rates or by political developments, and may result in lower demand for our products, lower real pricing or a shift to lower margin products. Because a large percentage of our costs are fixed costs, we may not be able to reduce costs and expenses, and our profit margins may suffer as a result of downturns in the economy of each country.

 

65


Table of Contents

An increase in interest rates in Mexico increases our cost of Mexican peso-denominated variable interest rate indebtedness and could have an adverse effect on our financial position and results of operations. During 2008, due to constraints in the international credit market and limited credit availability in the international markets and Mexico, as well as changes in the currency mix of our debt, our weighted average interest rate increased by 70 basis points.

Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2008 and continuing into 2009, the value of the Mexican peso relative to the U.S. dollar fluctuated significantly, with a low during 2008 of 9.92 pesos per U.S. dollar, to a high of 13.94 pesos per U.S. dollar. On June 15, 2009, the exchange rate was 13.4305. See “Item 3. Key Information—Exchange Rate Information.” A depreciation of the Mexican peso or local currencies in the countries in which we operate relative to the U.S. dollar increases our cost of raw materials priced in U.S. dollars, including raw materials whose prices are set with reference to the U.S. dollar. In addition, a depreciation of the Mexican peso or local currencies in the countries in which we operate relative to the U.S. dollar will increase our U.S.-denominated debt obligations, which could negatively affect our financial position and results of operations as we experienced in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Operating Leverage

Companies with structural characteristics that result in margin expansion in excess of sales growth are referred to as having high “operating leverage.”

The operating subsidiaries of Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza are engaged, to varying degrees, in capital-intensive activities. The high utilization of the installed capacity of the production facilities results in better fixed cost absorption, as increased output results in higher revenues without additional fixed costs. Absent significant increases in variable costs, gross profit margins will expand when production facilities are operated at higher utilization rates. Alternatively, higher fixed costs will result in lower gross profit margins in periods of lower output.

In addition, the commercial operations of Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza are carried out through extensive distribution networks, the principal fixed assets of which are warehouses and trucks. The distribution systems of both Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza are designed to handle large volumes of beverages. Fixed costs represent an important proportion of the total distribution expense of both Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Cerveza. Generally, the higher the volume that passes through the distribution system, the lower the fixed distribution cost as a percentage of the corresponding revenues. As a result, operating margins improve when the distribution capacity is operated at higher utilization rates. Alternatively, periods of decreased utilization because of lower volumes will negatively affect our operating margins.

Critical Accounting Estimates

The preparation of our audited consolidated financial statements requires that we make estimates and assumptions that affect (1) the reported amounts of our assets and liabilities, (2) the disclosure of our contingent liabilities at the date of the financial statements and (3) the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period. We base our estimates and judgments on our historical experience and on various other reasonable factors that together form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of our assets and liabilities. Our actual results may differ from these estimates under different assumptions or conditions. We evaluate our estimates and judgments on an on-going basis. Our significant accounting policies are described in note 4 to our audited consolidated financial statements. We believe our most critical accounting policies that imply the application of estimates and/or judgments are the following:

 

66


Table of Contents

Allowance for doubtful accounts

We determine our allowance for doubtful accounts based on an evaluation of the aging of our receivable portfolio and the economic positioning of our clients, as well as on our historical loss rate on receivables and the general economic environment in which we operate. Our beer operations represent the most important part of the consolidated allowance for doubtful accounts as a result of the credit that FEMSA Cerveza extends to retailers, on terms and conditions in accordance with industry practices. Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Comercio sales are generally realized in cash.

Bottles and cases; allowance for bottle breakage

Through December 31, 2007, we recorded returnable bottles and cases at acquisition cost and restated them applying inflation factors. Pursuant to our adoption of NIF B-10, in 2008 we began recording these values at acquisition cost and currently only restate them in circumstances where they form part of our operations in countries with an inflationary economic environment. For FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA, breakage is expensed as it is incurred. We compare quarterly the carrying value of bottle breakage expense with the calculated depreciation expense of our returnable bottles and cases in plant and distribution centers, estimating a useful life of five years for glass beer bottles, four years for returnable glass soft drink bottles and plastic cases and 18 months for returnable plastic bottles. These useful lives are determined in accordance with our business experience. The annual calculated depreciation expense has been similar to the annual carrying value of bottle breakage expense. Whenever we decide to discontinue a particular returnable presentation and retire it from the market, we write off the discontinued presentation through an increase in breakage expense.

Property, plant and equipment

Property, plant and equipment are depreciated over their estimated useful lives. The estimated useful lives represent the period we expect the assets to remain in service and to generate revenues. We base our estimates on the experience of our technical personnel. Depreciation is computed using the straight line method of accounting.

Until 2007, imported equipment was restated applying the inflation and exchange rates of the country of origin, in accourdance with Mexican Financial Reporting Standards in effect at that date. Since 2008, imported equipment is recorded using the exchange rate as of the acquisition date and, if part of an inflationary economic environment, is restated applying the inflation rate of the reporting entity.

We value at fair value long-lived assets for impairment and determine whether impairment exists, by comparing the book value of the assets with their fair value, which is calculated considering their operating conditions and the future cash flows expected to be generated based on their estimated remaining useful life as determined by management.

Through 2005, all of our subsidiaries depreciated refrigeration equipment over a five-year estimated useful life. In 2006, we implemented a program to review the estimated useful lives of its refrigeration equipment. As of December 31, 2007, our subsidiaries in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala changed their accounting estimate from five to seven years, considering the maintenance and replacement plans of the equipment. The impact of the change in estimate for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, which was accounted for prospectively, was a reduction in depreciation expense of Ps. 115 million and Ps. 132 million, respectively. The useful life of refrigeration equipment in Venezuela, Panama and Nicaragua remains at five years.

Valuation of intangible assets and goodwill

We identify all intangible assets to reduce as much as possible the goodwill associated with business acquisitions. We separate intangible assets between those with a finite useful life and those with an indefinite useful life, in accordance with the period over which we expect to receive the benefits.

We determine the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed as of the date of acquisition, and we assigned the excess purchase price over the fair value of the net assets. In certain circumstances this resulted in the

 

67


Table of Contents

recognition of an intangible asset. The intangible assets of indefinite life are subject to annual impairment tests. We have recorded intangible assets with indefinite lives, which consist of:

 

   

Coca-Cola FEMSA’s rights to produce and distribute Coca-Cola trademark products for Ps. 46,892 million as a result of the Panamco and REMIL acquisitions;

 

   

Trademarks and distribution rights for Ps.11,130 million as a result of the acquisition of the 30% interest of FEMSA Cerveza and distribution rights acquired from a third-party distributor;

 

   

Trademarks and goodwill as a result of the acquisition of Kaiser for Ps. 4,537 million; and

 

   

Other intangible assets with indefinite lives that amounted to Ps. 788 million.

For Mexican Financial Reporting Standards purposes, goodwill is the difference between the price paid and the fair value of the shares and/or net assets acquired that was not assigned directly to an intangible asset. Goodwill is recorded in the functional currency of the subsidiary in which the investment was made and is translated into Mexican pesos applying the closing rate for each period. In countries with inflationary economic environments, this asset is restated applying inflation factors in the country of origin and is then translated into Mexican pesos at the year-end exchange rate. Since 2005, Bulletin B-7 (“Business Acquisitions”), establishes that goodwill is no longer subject to amortization, and is instead subject to an annual impairment test.

Impairment of goodwill and intangible assets with indefinite lives

We annually review the carrying value of our goodwill whenever circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the reporting unit might exceed its implied fair value for long-lived assets. We also review annually the carrying value of our intangible assets with indefinite lives for impairment based on recognized valuation techniques. While we believe that our estimates are reasonable, different assumptions regarding such estimates could materially affect our evaluations.

Following our evaluations during 2008 and up to the date of this annual report, we do not have any information which leads to any impairment of goodwill or intangible assets with indefinite lives. We can give no assurance that our expectations will not change as a result of new information or developments. Future changes in economic or political conditions in any country in which we operate or in the industries in which we participate, however, may cause us to change our current assessment.

Executory contracts

As part of the normal course of business, we frequently invest in the development of our beer distribution channels through a variety of commercial agreements with different retailers in order to generate sales volume. These agreements are considered to be executory contracts and accordingly the costs incurred under these contracts are recognized as performance under the contracts is received.

These agreements require cash disbursements to be made in advance to certain retailers in order to fund activities intended to generate sales volume. These advance cash disbursements are then compensated for as sales are invoiced. These disbursements are considered to be market-related investments, which are capitalized as other assets. The amortization of amounts capitalized is presented as a reduction of net sales in relation to the volume sold to each retailer. The period of amortization is between three and four years, which is the normal term of the commercial agreements.

We periodically evaluate the carrying value of executory contracts. If the carrying value is considered to be impaired, these assets are written down as appropriate. The accuracy of the carrying value is based on our ability to predict certain key variables such as sales volume, prices and other industry and economic factors. Predicting these key variables involves assumptions based on future events. These assumptions are consistent with our internal projections.

 

68


Table of Contents

Employee benefits

Our employee benefits, which we used to refer to as labor liabilities, are comprised of pension plan, seniority premium, post-retirement medical services and severance indemnities. The determination of our obligations and expenses for pension and other post-retirement benefits are determined by actuarial calculations and are dependent on our determination of certain assumptions used to estimate such amounts. We evaluate our assumptions at least annually. In 2006, we decided to modify our pension and retirement plans. Through 2006, the pension and retirement plans provided for lifetime monthly payments as a complement to the pension payment received from the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (Mexican Social Security Institute or IMSS). Starting on January 1, 2007, the modified pension and retirement plans consist in a lump-sum payment to personnel vesting on that date or after.

In 2006, we also modified long-term assumptions used in the actuarial calculations for Mexican subsidiaries based on changes in the company’s revised estimate of current prices for settling its related obligations. These assumptions are described in note 15 to our consolidated financial statements and include the discount rate, expected long-term rate of return on plan assets and rates of increase in compensation costs. All our assumptions depend on the economic circumstances of each country where we operate.

These changes were accounted for as labor costs for past services and unrecognized actuarial net loss. As of December 2006, the net effect of these changes was an increase in pension and retirement plan, seniority premium and severance indemnity liabilities of Ps. 797 million, Ps. 19 million and Ps. 23 million, respectively.

In 2008, we adopted NIF D-3 (“Employee Benefits”), which eliminates the recognition of the additional liability resulting from the difference between obligations for accumulated benefits and net projected liability, in addition to making other important changes. On January 1, 2008, our additional liability cancelled was Ps. 1,510 million, of which Ps. 948 million corresponds to intangible assets and Ps. 354 to cumulative other comprehensive income, net of its deferred tax of Ps. 208 million.

Through 2007, our labor costs for past services related to severance indemnities and pension and retirement plans were amortized within the remaining labor life of employees. Beginning in 2008, NIF D-3 establishes a maximum five-year period to amortize the initial balance of the labor costs of past services of pension and retirement plans and the same amortization period for the labor cost of past service of severance indemnities, previously defined by Bulletin D-3 (“Labor Liabilities”) as unrecognized transition obligations and unrecognized prior service costs. As of December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006, labor costs for past services amounted to Ps. 221 million, Ps. 146 million and Ps. 97 million, respectively; and were recorded within the operating income.

During 2007, actuarial gains and losses related to severance indemnities were amortized to account for the average labor life of our employees. Beginning in 2008, actuarial gains and losses related to severance indemnities are registered under operating income during the year in which they are generated. The balance of unrecognized actuarial gains and losses as of January 1, 2008 was recorded in other expenses and amounted to Ps. 198 million.

In 2007, FEMSA Cerveza approved a plan to allow certain qualifying employees to retire early beginning in 2008. This plan consisted of allowing employees over the age of 55 with 20 years of service to take advantage of early retirement in order to obtain the same pension benefits they would have obtained had they retired at their regular retirement age. In addition, this plan authorized FEMSA Cerveza to make severance payments to certain employees who otherwise would not have met the criteria for eligibility. The plan is intended to improve the efficiency of FEMSA’s Cerveza operating structure. The total financial impact of the plan was Ps. 236 million, from which Ps.125 million was recorded in our consolidated income statement for 2007 as part of other expenses (See note 18 to our audited consolidated financial statements) and Ps. 111 million recorded in 2008 consolidated results.

Through 2007, Bulletin D-3 (“Labor Liabilities”) required the presentation of labor liabilities financial expenses as part of income from operations. Beginning in 2008, NIF D-3 (“Employee Benefits”), allows the presentation of financial expenses of labor liabilities as part of the integral result of financing. As of December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006, financial expenses related to labor liabilities, which are presented as part of the integral result of financing, were Ps. 257 million, Ps. 167 million and Ps. 170 million, respectively.

 

69


Table of Contents

While we believe that our assumptions are appropriate, significant differences in our actual experience or significant changes in our assumptions may materially affect our pension and other post-retirement obligations and our future expense. The following table is a summary of the three key assumptions to be used in determining 2008 annual labor liability expense, along with the impact on this expense of a 1% change in each assumed rate.

 

Assumptions 2009 (1)

   Nominal
rates
2008 (3)
    Real Rates
2008 (4)
    Real
Rates  (5)
    Impact of Rate
Change (2)
 
         +1%     -1%  
                       (in millions of Mexican pesos)  

Mexican and Foreign Subsidiaries:

          

Discount rate

   8.2   4.5   4.5   (605   Ps. 650   

Salary increase

   5.1   1.5   1.5   520        (512

Long-term asset return

   11.3   7.5   4.5   31        (26

 

(1) Calculated using a measurement date as of December 2008.

 

(2) The impact is not the same for an increase of 1% as for a decrease of 1% because the rates are not linear.

 

(3) For countries considered non-inflationary economic environments according to Mexican Financial Reporting Standards.

 

(4) For countries considered inflationary economic environments according to Mexican Financial Reporting Standards.

 

(5) Assumptions used for 2007 and 2006 calculations.

Income taxes

As we describe in note 23 to our audited consolidated financial statements, the most notable change following the 2007 Mexican Fiscal Reform is the introduction of the Impuesto Empresarial de Tasa Unica (IETU) which functions similar to an alternative minimum corporate income tax, except that any amounts paid are not creditable against future income tax payments. Mexican taxpayers are now subject to the higher of the IETU or the income tax liability computed under Mexican Income Tax Law. This new tax is calculated on a cash-flow basis and the rates for 2009 and 2010 will be 17.0% and 17.5%, respectively.

Based on our financial projections for our Mexican tax returns, we expect to pay corporate income tax in the future and do not expect to pay IETU, therefore we did not record deferred IETU. As such, the enactment of IETU did not impact our consolidated financial position or results of operations, as it only recognizes deferred income tax.

We recognize deferred tax assets and liabilities based on the differences between the financial statement carrying amounts and the tax basis of assets and liabilities. We regularly review our deferred taxes for recoverability and/or payment, and establish a valuation allowance based on historical taxable income, projected future taxable income and the expected timing of the reversals of existing temporary differences. If these estimates and related assumptions change in the future, we may be required to record additional valuation allowances against our deferred taxes resulting in an impact in net income.

The statutory income tax rate in Mexico for 2008 and 2007 was 28% and for 2006 was 29%.

Tax and legal contingencies

We are subject to various claims and contingencies related to tax and legal proceedings as described in note 24 to our audited consolidated financial statements. Due to their nature, such legal proceedings involve inherent uncertainties including, but not limited to, court rulings, negotiations between affected parties and governmental actions. Management periodically assesses the probability of loss for such contingencies and accrues a liability and/or discloses the relevant circumstances, as appropriate. If the potential loss from any claim or legal proceeding is considered probable and the amount can be reasonably estimated, we accrue a liability for the estimated loss.

 

70


Table of Contents

Derivative Financial Instruments

We are required to measure all derivative financial instruments at fair value and recognize them in the balance sheet as an asset or liability. Changes in the fair value of derivative financial instruments are recorded each year in net income or as a component of cumulative other comprehensive income, based on the type of hedging instrument and the ineffectiveness of the hedge. The fair values of derivative financial instruments are determined considering quoted prices in recognized markets. If such instruments are not traded, fair value is determined by applying techniques based upon technical models supported by sufficient reliable and verifiable data, recognized in the financial sector. We base our forward price curves upon market price quotations.

New Accounting Pronouncements

Under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards (Normas de Información Financiera, or NIF)

During 2008, the following new accounting standards were issued under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards, which we are required to implement as described below. Except as otherwise noted, we will adopt these standards as of January 1, 2009. We are in the process of determining the impact these new accounting standards on our financial reporting standards and results of operations, but we do not anticipate any significant impact except as may be described below.

 

   

NIF B-7, Adquisiciones de Negocios (Business Acquisitions)

NIF B-7 replaces Bulletin B-7, and establishes general rules for the initial recognition of net assets being acquired, non-controlling interests and other items, in each case as of the acquisition date. According to this standard, purchase and restructuring expenses resulting from an acquisition should not be accounted as part of the acquisition price because the expenses are not considered an amount being shared by the acquired business. In addition, this standard requires a company to recognize non-controlling interests in the acquiree entity at fair value as of the acquisition date. NIF B-7 is applicable only for future acquisitions.

 

   

NIF B-8, Estados Financieros Consolidados o Combinados (Consolidated or Combined Financial Statements)

NIF B-8 describes general rules for the preparation, presentation and disclosure of consolidated and combined financial statements. This standard (a) defines the term “Special-Purpose Entity” (“SPE”), establishes the cases in which an entity has control over an SPE, and determines when an entity should consolidate an SPE; (b) mandates the consideration of potential voting rights when determining the existence of control over an entity; and (c) replaces the term “majority interest” with “controlling interest” and “minority interest” with “non-controlling interest.” Additionally, NIF B-8 states that in certain circumstances, majority ownership may not be determinative of control and, accordingly, an analysis of the relevant facts and circumstances may be required. Although under NIF B-8, control is presumed to exist when a parent entity owns, directly or indirectly, more than half of the voting power of the controlled entity, in certain exceptional circumstances NIF B-8 provides that such ownership does not constitute control. NIF B-8 also describes certain situations in which a non-controlling interest-holder has sufficient rights or power to constitute control, such as: a) the power over more than 50 percent of the voting rights of the entity by virtue of an agreement with other investors; b) the power to govern the financial and operating policies of the controlled entity, either by agreement or under the constitutive documents of the controlled entity; c) the power to appoint or remove the majority of the board of directors, or equivalent governing body, where control rests in such body; or d) the power to cast a majority of votes at a meeting of the board of directors or equivalent governing body. We are currently in the process of determining the impact of NIF B-8 with respect to our consolidation of Coca-Cola FEMSA.

 

   

NIF C-7, Inversiones en Asociadas y Otras Inversions Permanentes (Investments in Affiliates and Other Permanent Investments)

NIF C-7 describes the accounting treatment for investments in affiliates and other permanent investments, which were previously governed by NIF B-8 (“Consolidated Financial Statements”). This standard requires an SPE to be recognized through the equity method of accounting, and requires potential voting rights to be considered when determining the existence of significant influence over an entity. In addition, this standard sets forth procedures and limits for the recognition of losses in an affiliated entity.

 

71


Table of Contents
   

NIF C-8, Activos Intangibles (Intangible Assets)

NIF C-8 defines intangible assets as “non-monetary items” and expands the criteria for their identification. According to this standard, in order to be considered an intangible asset the asset must be separable, which means that its owner should be able to sell it, transfer it or use it. Additionally, this standard establishes that preoperative costs capitalized before 2003, must be recognized in retained earnings without restating prior years’ financial statements. These amounts should be presented as an accounting change in the consolidated financial statements.

 

   

NIF D-8, Pagos Basados en Acciones (Payments in Shares)

NIF D-8 establishes the recognition of payments in shares. When an entity purchases goods or pays for services with shares, the entity is required to recognize those goods or services at fair value and the corresponding increase in equity. Under this standard, if share-based payments cannot be settled with equity instruments, they must be settled using an indirect method considering NIF D-8 parameters.

New Accounting Pronouncements under U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP):

During 2008, the following new accounting standards were issued under U.S. GAAP, which we are required to implement as described below. Except as otherwise noted, we will adopt these standards as of January 1, 2009. We are in the process of determining the impact these new accounting standards on our financial reporting standards and results of operations, but we do not anticipate any significant impact unless it is described.

 

   

“Business Combinations,” an amendment of SFAS No. 141, or SFAS No. 141(R)

SFAS No.141 (a) requires a company to recognize acquired assets, assumed liabilities, and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree entity at fair value as of the acquisition date; and (b) requires the acquiring entity to expense all acquisition-related costs during the preacquisition period. SFAS No. 141(R) requires that any adjustments to an acquired entity’s deferred tax assets and liabilities that occur after the measurement period be recorded as a component of income tax expense. This accounting treatment is required for business combinations consummated before the effective date of SFAS No. 141(R) (non-prospective), otherwise SFAS No. 141(R) must be applied prospectively. Early adoption is prohibited. SFAS No. 141(R) is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning on or after December 15, 2008.

 

   

“Accounting for Assets Acquired and Liabilities Assumed in a Business Combination that Arise from Contingencies,” an amendment of SFAS No. 141, or FSP SFAS No. 141(R)-1

This FASB Staff Position (FSP) amends and clarifies SFAS No. 141 (revised 2007), Business Combinations, to address application issues raised by preparers, auditors, and members of the legal profession on initial recognition and measurement, subsequent measurement and accounting, and disclosure of assets and liabilities arising from contingencies in a business combination. This FSP applies to all assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination that arise from contingencies that would be within the scope of SFAS No.5 Accounting for Contingencies if not acquired or assumed in a business combination, except for assets or liabilities arising from contingencies that are subject to specific guidance in Statement 141(R). This FSP is effective for assets or liabilities arising from contingencies in business combinations for which the acquisition date is on or after the beginning of the first annual reporting period beginning on or after December 15, 2008. We are in the process of determining the impact of adopting this new accounting principle on our consolidated financial position and results of operations.

 

   

“Non-controlling Interest in Consolidated Financial Statements,” or SFAS No. 160

SFAS No. 160 has the following effects on an entity’s financial statements: (a) amends ARB No. 51 to establish accounting and reporting standards for non-controlling interests in a subsidiary and the deconsolidation of a subsidiary; (b) changes the way the consolidated income statement is presented; (c) establishes a single method of accounting for changes in a parent

 

72


Table of Contents

company’s ownership interest in a subsidiary that does not result in deconsolidation; (d) requires that a parent company recognize a gain or loss in net income when a subsidiary is deconsolidated; and (e) requires expanded disclosures in the parent company and the interests of the non-controlling owners of a subsidiary. SFAS No. 160 must be applied prospectively and early adoption is prohibited. SFAS No. 160 is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning on or after December 15, 2008. We are in the process of determining the impact of adopting this new accounting principle on our consolidated financial position and results of operations.

 

   

“Disclosures about Derivative Instruments and Hedging Activities – an Amendment of SFAS No. 133,” or SFAS No. 161

SFAS No. 161 makes changes to disclosure requirements with respect to derivative instruments and hedging activities. Companies are required to provide enhanced disclosures about (a) how and why the company uses derivative instruments (b) how derivative instruments and related hedged items are accounted for under SFAS No. 133 and its related interpretations, and (c) how derivative instruments and related hedge items affect the company’s financial position, financial performance, and cash flows. SFAS No.161 is effective for financial statements issued for fiscal years and interim periods beginning on and after November 15, 2008, although early application is encouraged.

 

   

The “Hierarchy of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,” or SFAS 162

SFAS 162 identifies the sources of accounting principles and the framework for the selection of the principles to be used in the preparation of the financial statements of non-governmental entities that are presented in conformity with GAAP in the United States. SFAS 162 is effective 60 days following the SEC’s approval.

 

   

“Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets”- an Amendment of SFAS No. 140, or SFAS No. 166

SFAS No. 166 provides for the removal of the concept of a qualifying special-purpose entity from SFAS 140 and removes the exception from applying FIN 46R “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities”, to qualifying special-purpose entities. It also clarifies that one objective of SFAS 140 is to determine whether a transferor and all of the entities included in the transferor’s financial statements being presented have surrendered control over transferred financial assets. SFAS 166 modifies the financial-components approach used in SFAS 140 and limits the circumstances in which a financial asset, or portion of a financial asset, should be derecognized when the transferor has not transferred the entire original financial asset to an entity that is not consolidated with the transferor in the financial statements being presented and/or when the transferor has continuing involvement with the transferred financial asset. SFAS 166 also defines the term participating interest to establish specific conditions for reporting a transfer of a portion of a financial asset as a sale. SFAS 166 requires that a transferor recognize and initially measure at fair value all assets obtained (including a transferor’s beneficial interest) and liabilities incurred as a result of a transfer of financial assets accounted for as a sale. Enhanced disclosures are also required by SFAS 166. SFAS 166 must be applied as of the beginning of each reporting entity’s first annual reporting period that begins after November 15, 2009.

 

   

“Amendments to FASB Interpretation FIN 46R”, or SFAS 167

SFAS 167 seeks to improve financial reporting by enterprises involved with variable interest entities. The FASB undertook this project to address (1) the effects on certain provisions of FIN 46R “Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities”, as a result of the elimination of the qualifying special-purpose entity concept in SFAS 166 “Accounting for Transfers of Financial Assets”, and (2) constituent concerns about the application of certain key provisions of FIN 46R, including those in which the accounting and disclosures under FIN 46R do not always provide timely and useful information about an enterprise’s involvement in a variable interest. This Statement retains the scope of FIN 46R with the addition of entities previously considered qualifying special-purpose entities, as the concept of these entities was eliminated in SFAS 166. SFAS 167 shall be effective as of the beginning of each reporting entity’s first annual reporting period that begins after November 15, 2009. Earlier application is prohibited.

 

73


Table of Contents
   

“Determination of the Useful Life of Intangible Assets,” or FSP SFAS 142-3

FSP SFAS 142-3 modifies the factors that should be considered in developing renewal or extension assumptions used to determine the useful life of a recognized intangible asset under SFAS 142 (“Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets”). This standard seeks to achieve consistency between the useful life of a recognized intangible asset under SFASF 142 and the period of expected cash flow under SFAS 141 (revised 2007) (“Business Combinations”). The standard is to be applied prospectively to intangible assets acquired after its effective date. FSP SFAS 142-3 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008.

 

   

“Accounting for Defensive Intangible Assets,” or EITF 08-7

EITF 08-7 establishes that a defensive intangible asset should be accounted for as a separate accounting unit and that it should not be included in the cost of the acquiror’s existing intangible assets because it is separately identifiable. Additionally, a defensive intangible asset should be assigned a useful life that reflects the entity’s consumption of the expected benefits related to the asset. EITF 08-7 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008.

 

   

“Equity Method Investment Accounting Considerations,” or EITF 08-6

EITF 08-6 establishes that the equity method investment should be based on the cost accumulation model described in SFAS 141(R) for asset acquisition. The equity method investment should not separately test an investee’s underlying indefinite-lived intangible asset for impairment, and is must be recognized, other-than in the case of temporary impairments of an equity method investment in accordance with Opinion 18. EITF 08-6 is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2008.

 

74


Table of Contents

Operating Results

The following table sets forth our consolidated income statement under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006:

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2008     2008     2007     2006  
     (in millions of U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos)  

Net sales

   $ 12,086        Ps. 167,171        Ps. 147,069        Ps. 135,647   

Other operating revenues

     61        851        487        473   
                                

Total revenues

     12,147        168,022        147,556        136,120   

Cost of sales (1)

     6,535        90,399        79,739        73,338   
                                

Gross profit

     5,612        77,623        67,817        62,782   

Operating expenses:

        

Administrative

     689        9,531        9,121        8,873   

Selling

     3,283        45,408        38,960        35,272   
                                

Total operating expenses (1)

     3,972        54,939        48,081        44,145   
                                

Income from operations (1)

     1,640        22,684        19,736        18,637  

Other expenses, net

     (172     (2,374     (1,297     (1,650

Interest expense (1)

     (356     (4,930     (4,721     (4,469

Interest income

     43        598        769        792  
                                

Interest expense, net

     (313     (4,332     (3,952     (3,677

Foreign exchange gain (loss), net

     (122     (1,694     691        (217

Gain on monetary position, net

     47        657        1,639        1,488  

Market value gain (loss) on ineffective portion of derivative financial instrument (1)

     (105     (1,456     69        (113

Integral result of financing

     (493     (6,825     (1,553     (2,519
                                

Income before income taxes

     975        13,485        16,886        14,468  

Income taxes

     304        4,207        4,950        4,608  
                                

Consolidated net income

   $ 671      Ps. 9,278      Ps. 11,936      Ps. 9,860   
                                

Net majority income

     485        6,708        8,511        7,127   

Net minority income

     186        2,570        3,425        2,733   

Consolidated net income

   $ 671      Ps. 9,278      Ps. 11,936      Ps. 9,860   
                                

 

(1) In 2008, Mexican Financial Reporting Standard NIF D-3 (“Employee’s Benefits”) allows the presentation of financial expenses from labor liabilities as part of the integral result of financing. Accordingly, information for prior years has been reclassified for comparability purposes.

 

75


Table of Contents

The following table sets forth certain operating results by reportable segment under Mexican Financial Reporting Standards for each of our segments for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2007 and 2006:

 

     Year Ended December 31  
                       Percentage Growth  
     2008     2007     2006     2008 vs. 2007     2007 vs. 2006  
     (in millions of Mexican pesos at December 31, 2008, except for percentages)  

Net sales

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   82,468      68,969      Ps. 63,820      19.6   8.1

FEMSA Cerveza

   41,966      39,284      37,680      6.8   4.2

FEMSA Comercio

   47,146      42,103      36,835      12.0   14.3

Total revenues

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   82,976      69,251      64,046      19.8   8.1

FEMSA Cerveza

   42,385      39,566      37,919      7.1   4.3

FEMSA Comercio

   47,146      42,103      36,835      12.0   14.3

Cost of sales (1)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   43,895      35,876      33,740      22.4   6.3

FEMSA Cerveza

   19,540      17,833      16,473      9.6   8.3

FEMSA Comercio

   32,565      30,301      26,839      7.5   12.9

Gross profit (1)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   39,081      33,375      30,306      17.1   10.1

FEMSA Cerveza

   22,845      21,733      21,446      5.1   1.3

FEMSA Comercio

   14,581      11,802      9,996      23.5   18.1

Income from operations (1)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   13,695      11,486      10,293      19.2   11.6

FEMSA Cerveza

   5,394      5,497      6,210      (1.9 )%    (11.5 )% 

FEMSA Comercio

   3,077      2,320      1,667      32.6   39.2

Depreciation (2)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   3,036      2,637      2,595      15.1   1.6

FEMSA Cerveza

   1,748      1,637      1,818      6.8   (10.0 )% 

FEMSA Comercio

   663      543      431      22.1   26.0

Gross margin (3)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   47.1   48.2   47.3   (1.1 )p.p. (4)     0.9 p.p. 

FEMSA Cerveza

   53.9   54.9   56.6   (1.0 )p.p.    (1.7 )p.p. 

FEMSA Comercio

   30.9   28.0   27.1   2.9 p.p.    0.9 p.p. 

Operating margin (5)

          

Coca-Cola FEMSA

   16.5   16.6   16.1   (0.1 )p.p.    0.5 p.p. 

FEMSA Cerveza

   12.7   13.9   16.4   (1.2 )p.p.    (2.5 )p.p. 

FEMSA Comercio

   6.5   5.5   4.5   1.0 p.p.    1.0 p.p. 

 

(1) Includes reclassification of financial expense from labor liabilities. See “Item 3. Key Information—Selected Consolidated Financial Data.”

 

(2) Includes breakage of bottles.

 

(3) Gross margin is calculated with reference to total revenues.

 

(4) As used herein, p.p. refers to a percentage point increase (or decrease), contrasted with a straight percentage increase (or decrease).

 

(5) Operating margin is calculated with reference to total revenues.

 

76


Table of Contents

Results of Operations for Year Ended December 31, 2008 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2007

FEMSA Consolidated

Total Revenues

Our consolidated total revenues increased 13.9% to Ps. 168,022 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 147,556 million in 2007. All of our operations—soft drinks, beer and retail—contributed positively to this revenue growth. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s total revenues increased 19.8% to Ps. 82,976 million, driven by a 12.5% higher average price per unit case and a volume growth of 5.8% as compared to 2007, from 2,120.8 million unit cases in 2007 to 2,242.8 million unit cases in 2008. FEMSA Comercio’s revenues increased 12.0% to Ps. 47,146 million. The net opening of 811 new stores combined with stable same store sales drove this revenue growth. Total revenues at FEMSA Cerveza increased 7.1% compared to 2007 to Ps. 42,385 million, mainly driven by a higher average price per hectoliter, primarily in Mexico, and volume increases in our three main markets, Mexico, the U.S., and Brazil.

Gross Profit

Consolidated cost of sales increased 13.4% to Ps. 90,399 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 79,739 million in 2007. Approximately 75.2% of this increase came from Coca-Cola FEMSA as a result of cost pressures from the depreciation of local currencies against the U.S. dollar in its main operations as applied to its dollar-denominated raw material costs, as well its integration of the Jugos del Valle line of business in Mexico, which carries a higher cost of sales. FEMSA Comercio accounted for 21.2% of this increase as a result of its rapid pace of store expansion.

Consolidated gross profit increased 14.5% to Ps. 77,623 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 67,817 million in 2007 due to gross profit increases in all of our operations. Gross margin improved by 0.2 percentage points as compared to 2007, from 46.0% of consolidated total revenues in 2007 to 46.2% in 2008. Gross margin improvement at FEMSA Comercio more than offset raw material prices pressure at FEMSA Cerveza and Coca-Cola FEMSA, and helped offset the depreciation of local currencies against the U.S. dollar as applied to our U.S. dollar-denominated costs, resulting in a net overall gross margin improvement.

Income from Operations

Consolidated operating expenses increased 14.3% to Ps. 54,939 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 48,081 million in 2007. Approximately 50% of this increase resulted from additional operating expenses at Coca-Cola FEMSA in connection with the integration of new operations in Brazil, together with incremental expenses in its Latincentro division due to higher labor costs. FEMSA Comercio accounted for 30% of the increase, resulting from the accelerated store expansion. FEMSA Cerveza accounted for the balance. As a percentage of total revenues, consolidated operating expenses remained stable at 32.7% in 2008 compared with 32.6% in 2007.

Consolidated administrative expenses increased 4.5% to Ps. 9,531 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 9,121 million in 2007. However, as a percentage of total revenues, consolidated administrative expenses decreased 0.5 percentage points to 5.7% in 2008 compared with 6.2% in 2007, due to operating leverage driven by higher revenues achieved in all of our operations.

Consolidated selling expenses increased 16.6% to Ps. 45,408 million in 2008 as compared to Ps. 38,960 million in 2007. Approximately 49% of this increase came from Coca-Cola FEMSA, while 30% came from FEMSA Comercio and the remainder of the balance from FEMSA Cerveza. As a percentage of total revenues, selling expenses increased 0.6 percentage points to 27.0% in 2008 compared to 26.4% in 2007.

We incur various expenses related to the distribution of our products that are accounted for in our selling expenses. During 2008 and 2007, our distribution costs amounted to Ps. 12,135 million and Ps. 10,601 million, respectively.

 

77


Table of Contents

Consolidated income from operations increased 14.9% to Ps. 22,684 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 19,736 million in 2007, driven by the results at Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Comercio, which more than offset the decrease at FEMSA Cerveza. Consolidated operating margin increased 0.1 percentage points from 2007 levels to 13.5% as a percentage of 2008 consolidated total revenues. Operating margin improvements at FEMSA Comercio combined with a stable margin at Coca-Cola FEMSA, offset the margin pressure at FEMSA Cerveza, which was driven by higher raw material costs and operating expenses.

Some of our subsidiaries pay management fees to us in consideration for corporate services we provide to them. These fees are recorded as administrative expenses in the respective business segments. Our subsidiaries’ payments of management fees are eliminated in consolidation and, therefore, have no effect on our consolidated operating expenses.

Coca-Cola FEMSA

Total Revenues

Coca-Cola FEMSA total revenues increased 19.8% to Ps. 82,976 million in 2008, compared to Ps. 69,251 million in 2007, as a result of growth in all of its divisions. Growth in Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Latincentro division was mainly driven by incremental pricing, growth in its Mexico division was mainly driven by incremental volume and growth in its Mercosur division was mainly driven by the integration of REMIL. The Latincentro division, including Venezuela, accounted for more than 45% of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s revenue growth. The Mexico and Mercosur divisions, excluding the effect of the REMIL acquisition in Brazil, represented close to 30% of incremental revenue growth. REMIL contributed more than 20% of incremental revenues and a positive net foreign exchange gain derived from translating local currencies from the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates into Mexican pesos (which we refer to as a “translation effect”) represented most of the balance.

Consolidated average price per unit case increased 12.5%, reaching Ps. 35.93 in 2008 as compared to Ps. 31.95 in 2007. Price increases implemented in most of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s territories and the addition of the Jugos del Valle line of business, which carries higher average prices per unit case, accounted for this growth.

Consolidated total sales volume reached 2,242.8 million unit cases in 2008, compared to 2,120.8 million unit cases in 2007, an increase of 5.8%. Excluding REMIL, total sales volume increased 2.6% to reach 2,176.7 million unit cases. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s water business, mainly driven by the bulk water business in Mexico, and still beverages, mainly driven by the introduction of Jugos del Valle and the new products derived from that line of business, accounted for approximately 80% of these increases in sales volume. Sparkling beverage sales, mainly driven by the Coca-Cola brand and the strong performance of Coca-Cola Zero outside of Mexico represented the balance.

Gross Profit

Coca-Cola FEMSA cost of sales increased 22.4% to Ps. 43,895 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 35,876 million in 2007, as a result of cost pressures related to the devaluation of local currencies in most of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s operations as applied to its U.S. dollar-denominated raw material costs. The integration of REMIL and lower profitability from the Jugos del Valle line of business in Mexico, which was expected in 2008 because of the Jugos del Valle agreement to retain profits at the joint venture company in 2008 for reinvestment, also contributed to this increase. Gross profit increased 17.1% to Ps. 39,081 million in 2008 compared to 2007, driven by a 40.8% increase in its Mercosur division, a 27.6% increase in its Latincentro division, including Venezuela, and a 1.8% increase in its Mexico division. In spite of this increase in gross profit, gross margin decreased 1.1 percentage points to 47.1% in 2008.

Cost of sales includes raw materials, in particular concentrate and sweeteners, packaging materials, depreciation expenses attributable to production facilities, wages and other employment expenses associated with the labor force employed at production facilities, as well as certain overhead expenses. Concentrate prices are determined as a percentage of the retail price of products in the local currency, net of applicable taxes. Packaging materials, mainly PET and aluminum, and high fructose corn syrup, used as sweetener in some countries, are denominated in U.S. dollars.

 

78


Table of Contents

Income from operations

Operating expenses in absolute terms increased 16.0% compared to 2007 to Ps. 25,386 million, mainly as a result of salary increases in excess of inflation in some of the countries in which Coca-Cola FEMSA operates and higher operating expenses in the Mercosur division, mainly due to the integration of REMIL, that were partially offset by lower marketing investment in some of its operations. As a percentage of sales, operating expenses declined from 31.6% in 2007 to 30.6% in 2008, as a result of higher revenue growth that compensated for higher operating expenses.

Income from operations increased 19.2% to Ps. 13,695 million in 2008, as compared to Ps. 11,486 million in 2007. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s Mercosur and Latincentro divisions, including Venezuela, each accounted for more than 40% of this increase. Operating margin remained almost flat at 16.5% in 2008 compared to 16.6% in 2007.

FEMSA Cerveza

Total Revenues

FEMSA Cerveza total revenues increased 7.1% to Ps. 42,385 million in 2008 as compared to Ps. 39,566 million in 2007. Beer sales increased 7.0% to Ps. 39,014 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 36,457 million in 2007 and represented 92.0% of total revenues in 2008. Sales from FEMSA Cerveza’s packaging division accounted for 8% of total revenues. Higher average prices per hectoliter accounted for approximately 55 percent of total revenue growth, while incremental volumes were approximately 36 percent. The balance came from other revenues. Mexico beer revenues represented 68.9% of total revenues in 2008 compared to 68.8% in 2007. Brazil beer revenues represented 14.6% of total revenues in 2008, down slightly from 14.9% in 2007. Export beer revenues remained almost flat at 8.5% of total revenues in 2008, compared to 8.4% in 2007.

Mexico sales volume increased 1.6% to 27.393 million hectoliters in 2008. This increase was mainly driven by the Tecate and Indio brand families throughout the country together with the successful introduction of line extensions such as Sol Limón y Sal . Mexico price per hectoliter increased 5.7% to Ps. 1,066.8 in 2008, as a result of incremental volumes brought under FEMSA Cerveza’s own distribution network, which for the year stands at 90% of its total domestic volume. Price increases implemented during the year also contributed to this effect.

Brazil sales volume increased 3.9% to 10.181 million hectoliters in 2008 compared to 9.795 million hectoliters in 2007, outpacing the growth of the Brazilian beer industry. During the year, FEMSA Cerveza’s Sol , Kaiser and Bavaria brands accounted for most of the growth. Average price per hectoliter in Brazil increased 0.8% over 2007 in Mexican peso terms to Ps. 607.2 in 2008. In Brazilian real terms, average price per hectoliter increased 2.0% percent, reflecting price increases implemented late in the year.

Export sales volumes increased 9.3% in 2008 compared to 2007 reaching 3.479 million hectoliters compared to 3.183 million hectoliters in 2007, primarily driven by increased demand for FEMSA Cerveza’s Dos Equis and Tecate brands in the U.S. and for its Sol brand in other key markets. Export price per hectoliter in Mexican pesos decreased 1.1% compared to 2007 to Ps. 1,037.0 in 2008. In U.S. dollar terms, price per hectoliter improved by 0.2% to $94.0 U.S., due to moderate price increases implemented during the year, which more than offset changes in packaging mix.

Gross Profit

Cost of sales increased 9.6% to Ps. 19,540 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 17,833 million in 2007, ahead of the 7.1% total revenue growth in the year. This increase was mainly driven by higher raw material costs, particularly for aluminum and grains, the Mexican peso depreciation of 25% as applied to its U.S. dollar-denominated costs and to a lesser extent the 2.8% total volume growth, which more than offset operating efficiencies achieved during the year. Gross profit reached Ps. 22,845 million in 2008, an increase of 5.1% as compared to Ps. 21,733 million in 2007. Gross margin decreased 1.0 percentage points from 54.9% in 2007 to 53.9% in 2008.

 

79


Table of Contents

Income from operations

Operating expenses increased 7.5% to Ps. 17,451 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 16,236 million in 2007. However, as percentage of total revenues, operating expenses remained almost flat at 41.2% as compared to 41.0% in 2007. Administrative expenses decreased 4.7% to Ps. 4,093 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 4,295 million in 2007 due to expense rationalization together with a decline in capitalized investments in the ERP system, which have been fully amortized. Selling expenses increased 11.9% to Ps. 13,358 million in 2008 as compared to Ps. 11,941 million in 2007, mainly due to continuous marketing investment in channel development and brand-building activities behind Sol and Tecate in Mexico as well as for Dos Equis and Tecate in the U.S. and for Kaiser and Sol in Brazil. The increase also resulted from incremental volumes that we brought under FEMSA Cerveza’s direct distribution network. Income from operations decreased 1.9% to Ps. 5,394 million in 2008, to 12.7% of consolidated total revenues, reflecting mainly the decline in gross margin.

FEMSA Comercio

Total Revenues

FEMSA Comercio total revenues increased 12.0% to Ps. 47,146 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 42,103 million in 2007, primarily as a result of the opening of 811 net new stores during 2008 together with stable same-store sales. As of December 31, 2008, there were a total of 6,374 stores in Mexico. FEMSA Comercio same-store sales were virtually flat, up an average of 0.4% compared to 2007. A 13.0% increase in store traffic, which was driven by a broader mix of products and services, more than offset a decrease of 11.2% in average customer ticket. During the year, store traffic and ticket dynamics reflect the mix shift from prepaid wireless phone cards to the sale of electronic air-time, for which only the margin is recorded, not the full amount of revenues coming from the air-time recharge.

Gross Profit

Cost of sales increased 7.5% to Ps. 32,565 million in 2008, below total revenue growth, compared with Ps. 30,301 million in 2007. As a result, gross profit reached Ps. 14,581 million in 2008, which represented a 23.5% increase from 2007. Gross margin expanded 2.9 percentage points to reach 30.9% of total revenues. A significant portion of this improvement resulted from the shift towards electronic air-time recharges as described above. The balance came from growth in higher-margin categories such as ready-to-drink coffee and alternative beverages, among others, as well as better pricing strategies and improved commercial terms with supplier partners.

Income from operations

Operating expenses increased 21.3% to Ps. 11,504 million in 2008 compared with Ps. 9,482 million in 2007. Administrative expenses increased 10.9% to Ps. 833 million in 2008 compared with Ps. 751 million in 2007, however, as percentage of sales remained stable at 1.8%. Selling expenses increased 22.2% to Ps. 10,671 in 2008 compared with Ps. 8,731 million in 2007, mainly driven by higher energy costs at the store level and expenses related to the strengthening of FEMSA Comercio´s organizational structure, in accordance with management plans. Income from operations increased 32.6% to Ps. 3,077 million in 2008 compared with Ps. 2,320 million in 2007, resulting in an operating margin expansion of 1.0 percentage point to 6.5% as a percentage of total revenues for the year, compared with 5.5% in 2007. This all-time high operating margin was driven by gross margin expansion which more than offset the increase in operating expenses.

FEMSA Consolidated—Net Income

Integral Result of Financing

Net interest expense reached Ps. 4,332 million in 2008 compared with Ps. 3,952 million in 2007, mainly driven by higher interest expense derived from an increase in our average total debt rate during the year.

 

80


Table of Contents

Foreign exchange recorded a loss of Ps. 1,694 million in 2008 from a gain of Ps. 691 million in 2007, due to the depreciation of the local currencies in our markets against the U.S. dollar, as applied to our U.S. dollar-denominated liability position.

Monetary position amounted to a lower gain of Ps. 657 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 1,639 million in 2007, reflecting changes in Mexican Financial Reporting Standards, as inflationary adjustments are no longer applied to the vast majority of our liability positions.

The market value of the ineffective portion of our derivative financial instruments reflects a shift to a loss of Ps. 1,456 million in 2008 from a gain of Ps. 69 million in 2007, driven by the recognition of mark-to-market losses in our U.S. dollar cross currency swaps and to a lesser extent, the unwinding of certain commodity hedges that do not meet hedging criteria for accounting purposes.

Other Expenses

Other expenses include employee profit sharing (PTU), impairment of long-lived assets, contingencies, severance payments derived from restructuring programs, participation in affiliated companies, gains or losses on sales of fixed assets, and all other non-recurring expenses related to activities, other than our main activities, that are not recognized as part of the integral result of financing. During 2008, other expenses increased to Ps. 2,374 million from Ps. 1,297 million in 2007, driven mainly by increases in employee profit sharing expenses and in impairment charges of long-lived assets, together with strategic restructuring programs mainly at Coca-Cola FEMSA during 2008.

Taxes

The accounting provision for income taxes in 2008 was Ps. 4,207 million compared to Ps. 4,950 million in 2007, resulting in an effective tax rate of 31.2% in 2008 compared with 29.3% in 2007.

Net Income

Net income decreased 22.3% to Ps. 9,278 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 11,936 million in 2007. This decline resulted from our higher integral result of financing due to the factors mentioned above, which more than offset operating income growth.

Net majority income amounted to Ps. 6,708 million in 2008 compared to Ps. 8,511 million in 2007, a decline of 21.2%. Net majority income in 2008 per one FEMSA Unit was Ps. 1.87 ($1.36 per ADS).

Results of Operations for Year Ended December 31, 2007 Compared to Year Ended December 31, 2006

FEMSA Consolidated

Total Revenues

FEMSA’s consolidated total revenues increased 8.4% to Ps. 147,556 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 136,120 million in 2006. All of FEMSA’s operations—soft drinks, beer and retail—contributed positively to this revenue growth. FEMSA Comercio’s revenues increased 14.3% to Ps. 42,103 million, due to the 716 net new stores opened during the year and the 3.3% growth in same stores sales. Coca-Cola FEMSA’s total revenues increased 8.1% to Ps. 69,251 million, mainly due to strong volume growth of 6.1% as compared to 2006 from 2,120.8 million unit cases in 2007 to 1,998.1 million unit cases in 2006 and an average price per unit case increase of 1.2%. Total revenues at FEMSA Cerveza increased 4.3% over 2006 to Ps. 39,566 million, driven by higher volumes that more than offset the slight decline in average price per hectoliter in real terms and the decline in lower third-party packaging revenues as our internal demand for packaging increased as opposed to third-party sales.

 

81


Table of Contents

Gross Profit

Consolidated cost of sales increased 8.7% to Ps. 79,739 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 73,338 million in 2006. Approximately 53.8% of this increase resulted from FEMSA Comercio and its rapid pace of store expansion. Coca-Cola FEMSA accounted for 33.4% of this increase and FEMSA Cerveza accounted for 21.3%.

Consolidated gross profit increased 8.0% to Ps. 67,817 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 62,782 million in 2006 due to increases in all of our operations. Gross margin decreased 0.2 percentage points as compared to 2006, from 46.1% of consolidated total revenues in 2006 to 45.9% in 2007. Gross margin improvements at Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Comercio partially offset raw material pressure at FEMSA Cerveza, resulting in a slight gross margin decrease.

Income from Operations

Consolidated operating expenses increased 8.9% to Ps. 48,081 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 44,145 million in 2006. Approximately 48% of this increase was driven by additional operating expenses in all of Coca-Cola FEMSA’s operations, especially in Venezuela, Brazil and Mexico, which together accounted for 75.6% of the incremental expense. As a percentage of total revenues, consolidated operating expenses remained stable at 32.6% in 2007 compared with 32.5% in 2006.

Consolidated administrative expenses increased 2.8% to Ps. 9,121 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 8,873 million in 2006. However, as a percentage of total revenues, consolidated administrative expenses decreased 0.3 percentage points to 6.2% in 2007 compared with 6.5% in 2006 due to operating leverage driven by higher revenues achieved in all of FEMSA’s operations.

Consolidated selling expenses increased 10.4% to Ps. 38,960 million in 2007 as compared to Ps. 35,272 million in 2006. Approximately 45.2% of this increase was due to Coca-Cola FEMSA and 31.5% to FEMSA Comercio’s rapid rate of growth. As a percentage of total revenues, selling expenses increased 0.5 percentage points to 26.4% in 2007 compared to 25.9% in 2006.

We incur various expenses related to the distribution of our products that are accounted for in our selling expenses. During 2007 and 2006, our distribution costs amounted to Ps. 10,601 million and Ps. 9,921 million, respectively. The exclusion of these charges from our cost of sales may result in the amounts reported as gross profit not being comparable to other companies that may include all expenses related to their distribution network in cost of sales when calculating gross profit or an equivalent measure.

Consolidated income from operations increased 5.9% to Ps. 19,736 million in 2007 as compared to Ps. 18,637 million in 2006, driven by the results of Coca-Cola FEMSA and FEMSA Comercio, which more than offset the decrease at FEMSA Cerveza. Consolidated operating margin decreased 0.3 percentage points from 2006 levels to 13.4% of consolidated total revenues in 2007. The decrease in operating margin was primarily attributable to a margin contraction at FEMSA Cerveza driven by higher raw material prices and operating expenses and the increased contribution of FEMSA Comercio, which has a lower margin than our core operations.

Some of our subsidiaries pay management fees to us in consideration for corporate services provided to them. These fees are recorded as administrative expenses in the respective business segments. Our subsidiaries’ payments of management fees are eliminated in consolidation and, therefore, have no effect on our consolidated operating expenses.

Coca-Cola FEMSA

Total Revenues

Coca-Cola FEMSA total revenues increased 8.1% to Ps. 69,251 million in 2007, compared to Ps. 64,046 million in 2006 with Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela accounting for more than 75% of this growth.

 

82


Table of Contents

Consolidated total sales volume reached 2,120.8 million unit cases in 2007, compared to 1,998.1 million unit cases in 2006, an increase of 6.1%. Sparkling beverage volume, which we previously referred to as sparkling beverages, increased 5.7% as a result of sales volume increases in all of our territories. Sparkling beverage volume growth was mainly driven by the Coca-Cola brand, which accounted for close to 65% of incremental total volume. A strong marketing campaign associated with the launching of Coca-Cola Zero in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina contributed to this growth.

Consolidated average price per unit case increased 1.2% in real terms, reaching Ps. 31.95 in 2007 as compared to Ps. 31.56 in 2006. Average price increases in most of our territories, partially offset lower average prices in Mexico.

Gross Profit

Cost of sales in absolute terms increased 6.3% to Ps. 35,876 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 33,740 million in 2006. Gross profit increased 10.1% to Ps. 33,375 million in 2007, as compared to the previous year, mainly driven by incremental revenues across all of our territories and higher fixed-cost absorption. Gross margin increased to 48.2% in 2007 from 47.3% in 2006, driven by revenue growth, which more than compensated for higher sweetener costs in Mexico.

Cost of sales includes raw materials, in particular concentrate and sweeteners, packaging materials, depreciation expenses attributable to our production facilities, wages and other employment expenses associated with the labor force employed at our production facilities, as well as certain overhead expenses. Concentrate prices are determined as a percentage of the retail price of our products in local currency net of applicable taxes.

Income from operations

Operating expenses in absolute terms increased 9.3% year over year to Ps. 21,889 million, mainly as a result of (1) salary increases ahead of inflation in some of the countries in which we operate, (2) higher operating expenses due to increases in maintenance expenses and freight costs in some territories and (3) higher marketing investment in our major operations in connection with several initiatives intended to reinforce our presence in the market and build brand equity. As a percentage of total revenues, operating expenses increased from 31.3% in 2006 to 31.6% in 2007.

Income from operations increased 11.6% to Ps. 11,486 million in 2007, as compared to Ps. 10,293 million in 2006. Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela accounted for the majority of the incremental growth and more than offset a slight income from operations decline in Mexico. Operating margin increased 0.5 percentage points to reach 16.6% of total revenues in 2007, mainly driven by the improved operating leverage that resulted from higher revenues.

FEMSA Cerveza

Total Revenues

FEMSA Cerveza total revenues increased 4.3% to Ps. 39,566 million in 2007 as compared to Ps. 37,919 million in 2006. Beer sales increased 5.4% to Ps. 36,457 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 34,602 million in 2006 and represent 92.1% of total revenues in 2007. Total revenue growth was primarily driven by higher volumes which more than offset the decline in lower third-party packaging revenues driven by a higher percentage of our packaging production going to internal demand as opposed to third-party sales; and the 0.6% decline in average price per hectoliter in real terms, resulting from lower average price per hectoliter in all our operations. Mexico beer revenues represented 68.8% of total revenues in 2007 compared to 69.2% in 2006. Brazil beer revenues represented 14.9% of total revenues in 2007, up from 14.2% in 2006. Export beer revenues reached 8.4% of total revenues in 2007, up from 7.9% in 2006.

Mexico sales volume increased 3.9% to 26.962 million hectoliters in 2007, despite strong comparable growth figures in 2006 and adverse weather conditions mainly in the first and third quarters of 2007. Growth was driven by our Tecate , Sol and Indio brand families throughout the country. Mexico price per hectoliter remained almost flat in real terms at Ps. 1,009.4 in 2007.

 

83


Table of Contents

Brazil sales volume increased 9.6% to 9.795 million hectoliters in 2007 compared to 8.935 million hectoliters in 2006, outpacing the growth of the Brazilian beer industry. This growth reflects positive trends for our brand portfolio that continue to develop according to FEMSA Cerveza’s plan for these operations. Brazil price per hectoliter decreased 0.2% over 2006 in real terms to Ps. 602.7 in 2007.

Export sales volumes increased 13.2% compared to 2006 reaching 3.183 million hectoliters compared to 2.811 million hectoliters in 2006, primarily driven by increased demand for our Dos Equis and Tecate brands in the U.S. and for our Sol brand in other key markets. Export price per hectoliter decreased 1.0% compared to 2006 to Ps. 1,048.9 in 2007.

Gross Profit

Cost of sales increased 8.3% to Ps. 17,883 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 16,473 million in 2006, mainly driven by 5.9% total volume growth, higher raw material prices, particularly aluminum and grains, and incremental volumes coming from non-returnable presentations. Gross profit reached Ps. 21,733 million in 2007 an increase of 1.3% as compared to Ps. 21,446 million in 2006. Gross margin decreased 1.7 percentage points from 56.6% in 2006 to 54.9% in 2007.

Income from operations

Operating expenses increased 6.6% to Ps. 16,236 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 15,236 million in 2006. Administrative expenses slightly increased 1.3% to Ps. 4,295 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 4,238 million in 2006. Selling expenses increased 8.6% to Ps. 11,941 million in 2007 as compared to Ps. 10,998 million in 2006, mainly due to continued investment in channel development and brand-building activities for Sol and Tecate in Mexico as well as for Dos Equis and Tecate in the U.S. and stepped-up marketing activities in Brazil in connection with our Sol and Kaiser brands. Income from operations decreased 11.5% to Ps. 5,497 million in 2007, to 13.9% of consolidated total revenues.

FEMSA Comercio

Total Revenues

FEMSA Comercio total revenues increased 14.3% to Ps. 42,103 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 36,835 million in 2006, primarily as a result of the opening of 716 net new OXXO stores during 2007 and same-store sales growth. As of December 31, 2007, there were a total of 5,563 OXXO stores in Mexico. This is OXXO’s 12th consecutive year of increasing the number of new store openings. OXXO same-store sales increased on average 3.3% compared to 2006, due to a 4.4% increase in store traffic, which was driven by broader mix of products and services, which more than offset a decrease of 1.1% in average customer ticket. Traffic and ticket dynamics reflect the introduction of electronic air-time sales for customers of wireless telephone carriers, launched in recent months across the country, which drive incremental traffic to the store and for which only the margin is recorded, not the total revenues coming from the air-time recharge.

Gross Profit

Cost of sales increased 12.9% to Ps. 30,301 million in 2007, below total revenue growth, compared with Ps. 26,839 million in 2006. As a result, gross profit reached Ps. 11,802 million in 2007, which represented an 18.1% increase from 2006. Gross margin expanded 0.9 percentage points to reach 28.0% of total revenues. This improvement was driven by better pricing strategies, improved commercial terms with our supplier partners, as well as by growth coming from higher-margin categories such as fast food, coffee and alternative beverages.

 

84


Table of Contents

Income from operations

Operating expenses increased 13.9% to Ps. 9,482 million in 2007 compared with Ps. 8,329 million in 2006. Administrative expenses decreased 0.4% to Ps. 751 million in 2007 compared with Ps. 754 million in 2006 primarily as our initial capitalized investments in the Oracle ERP system have been fully amortized, and due to a lesser extent to broad expense-containment initiatives. Selling expenses as a percentage of total revenues remained stable at 20.7% in 2007, an increase of 15.3% in 2007 compared with Ps. 7,575 million in 2006. Income from operations increased 39.2% to Ps. 2,320 million in 2007 compared with Ps. 1,667 million in 2006, resulting in an operating margin expansion of 1.0 percentage point to 5.5% as a percentage of total revenues for the year, compared with 4.5% in 2006. This margin expansion was driven by gross margin expansion and by better fixed-expense absorption resulting from higher revenues.

FEMSA Consolidated—Net Income

Integral Result of Financing

Net interest expense reached Ps. 3,952 million in 2007 compared with Ps. 3,677 million in 2006 mainly driven by higher interest expense derived from an increase in average total debt during the year. Foreign exchange (loss/gain) amounted to a gain of Ps. 691 million in 2007 compared with a loss of Ps. 217 million in 2006. This gain resulted due to appreciation of the Mexican peso and the Brazilian reais as applied to our U.S. dollar-denominated debt position in 2007.

Monetary position amounted to a gain of Ps. 1,639 million in 2007 compared with a gain of Ps. 1,488 million in 2006. This gain in 2007 represents the positive effects of inflation on monetary items on our increased liabilities recorded in 2007.

Other Expenses

Beginning in 2007, pursuant to Mexican Financial Reporting Standards, we recorded employee profit sharing as part of “other expenses” instead of presenting it within the taxes line. For comparison purposes, we also reflect this change in the information presented for prior periods. Our employee profit sharing expenses amounted to Ps. 553 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 530 million in 2006. Excluding employee profit sharing, other expenses, net decreased 33.6% to Ps. 744 million in 2007 from Ps. 1,120 million in 2006, driven by extraordinary items recorded for strategic projects, mainly at Coca-Cola FEMSA, in 2006.

Taxes

The provision for income taxes in 2007 was Ps. 4,950 million compared to Ps. 4,608 million in 2006, resulting in an effective tax rate of 29.3% compared to 31.8% in 2006, mainly driven by a reduction in the statutory income tax rate in Mexico from 29% in 2006 to 28% in 2007 and less non-deductible expenses.

Net Income

Net income increased 21.1% to Ps. 11,936 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 9,860 million in 2006, driven by income from operations growth and a shift from a loss in foreign exchange in 2006 to a gain in 2007.

Net majority income amounted to Ps. 8,511 million in 2007 compared to Ps. 7,127 million in 2006, an increase of 19.4%. Net majority income in 2007  per FEMSA Unit was Ps. 2.38 ($2.18 per ADS).

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Liquidity

Each of our sub-holding companies generally finances its operational and capital requirements on an independent basis. As of December 31, 2008, 71.3% of our outstanding consolidated indebtedness was at the level

 

85


Table of Contents

of our sub-holding companies. This structure is attributable, in part, to the inclusion of third parties in the capital structure of Coca-Cola FEMSA. Currently, we expect to continue to finance our operations and capital requirements primarily at the level of our sub-holding companies. Nonetheless, we may decide to incur indebtedness at our holding company in the future to finance the operations and capital requirements of our subsidiaries or significant acquisitions, investments or capital expenditures. As a holding company, we depend on dividends and other distributions from our subsidiaries to service our indebtedness.

We continuously evaluate opportunities to pursue acquisitions or engage in joint ventures or other transactions. We would expect to finance any significant future transactions with a combination of cash from operations, long-term indebtedness and capital stock.

The principal source of liquidity of each sub-holding company has generally been cash generated from operations. We have traditionally been able to rely on cash generated from operations because a significant majority of the sales of Coca-Cola FEMSA, FEMSA Cerveza and FEMSA Comercio are on a cash or short-term credit basis, and FEMSA Comercio’s OXXO stores are able to finance a significant portion of their initial and ongoing inventories with supplier credit. Our principal use of cash has generally been for capital expenditure programs, debt repayment and dividend payments.

In 2008, we adopted NIF B-2 (“Statement of Cash Flows”) pursuant to which we present cash inflows and outflows in nominal currency for the year ended December 31, 2008. NIF B-2 replaces the statement of changes in financial position, which we still present for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, and which includes inflation effects and unrealized foreign exchange effects. The application of NIF B-2 is prospective, and therefore the cash flow statement for the year ended December 31, 2008 is not comparable to the statements of changes in financial position for the years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006.

The following is a summary of the principal uses of cash for the year ended December 31, 2008, from our consolidated statement of cash flows:

Principal Sources and Uses of Cash

Year ended December 31, 2008

(in millions of Mexican pesos)

 

     2008  

Net cash flows provided by operating activities

   Ps. 23,064   

Net cash flows used in investing activities (1)

     (18,060

Net cash flows used in financing activities (2)

     (6,160

Dividends paid

     (2,065

 

(1) Includes property, plant and equipment, investment in shares and other assets.

 

(2) Includes dividends declared and paid.

 

86


Table of Contents

The following table summarizes the sources and uses of cash for the years in the period ended December 31, 2007 and 2006, from our consolidated statements of changes in financial position:

Principal Sources and Uses of Cash

Years ended December 31, 2007 and 2006 (1)

(in millions of Mexican pesos)

 

     2007     2006  

Net resources generated by operating activities

   Ps. 18,022      Ps. 16,934   

Net resources used in investing activities (2)

     (12,437     (15,809

Net resources used in financing activities (3)

     (3,901     (1,679

Dividends declared and paid

     (1,909     (1,459

 

(1) Expressed in millions of Mexican pesos as of December 31, 2007.

 

(2) Includes property, plant and equipment, investment in shares and other assets.

 

(3) Includes dividends declared and paid.

Our sub-holding companies generally incur short-term indebtedness in the event that they are temporarily unable to finance operations or meet any capital requirements with cash from operations. A significant decline in the business of any of our sub-holding companies may affect the sub-holding company’s ability to fund its capital requirements. A significant and prolonged deterioration in the economies in which we operate or in our businesses may affect our ability to obtain short-term and long-term credit or to refinance existing indebtedness on terms satisfactory to us.

We have financed significant acquisitions, principally Coca-Cola FEMSA’s acquisition of Coca-Cola Buenos Aires in 1994 and its acquisition of Panamco in May 2003 and our acquisition of the 30% interest in FEMSA Cerveza owned by affiliates of InBev in August 2004, capital expenditures and other capital requirements that could not be financed with cash from operations by incurring long-term indebtedness and through the issuance of equity.

Our consolidated total indebtedness as of December 31, 2008 was Ps. 43,858 million compared to Ps. 40,029 million as of December 31, 2007. Short-term debt (including maturities of long-term debt) and long-term debt were Ps. 11,648 million and Ps. 32,210 million, respectively, as of December 31, 2008, as compared to Ps. 9,364 million and Ps. 30,665 million, respectively, as of December 31, 2007. Cash and cash equivalents were Ps. 9,110 million as of December 31, 2008, as compared to Ps. 10,456 million as of December 31, 2007.

We believe that our sources of liquidity as of December 31, 2008 were adequate for the conduct of our sub-holding companies’ businesses and that we will have sufficient funds available to meet our expenditure demands and financing needs in 2009 and in the following years.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

We do not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.

 

87


Table of Contents

Contractual Obligations

The table below sets forth our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2008.

 

     Maturity
     Less than 1
year
   1 - 3 years    3 - 5 years    In excess of
5 years
   Total
     (in millions of Mexican pesos)

Long-Term Debt

              

Mexican pesos (1)

   Ps. 1,909    Ps. 7,325    Ps. 13,232    Ps. 6,909    Ps. 29,375

U.S. dollars

     3,808      96      3,031      —        6,935

Brazilian reais (2)

     72      —        —        —        72

Colombian Pesos

     —        905      —        —        905

Capital Leases

              

U.S. dollars

     11      15      —        —        26

Interest payments (3)

              

Mexican pesos

     2,332      4,012      2,486      1,084      9,914

U.S. dollars

     417      287      208      —        912

Colombian Pesos

     140      140      —        —        280

Brazilian reais

     3      —        —        —        3

Interest rate swaps and cross currency swaps (4)

              

Mexican pesos

     420      782      536      611      2,349

Brazilian reais (2)

     14      —        —        —        14

Operating leases

              

Mexican pesos

     1,458      2,673      2,336      6,403      12,870

U.S. dollars

     1,140      161      99      206      1,606

Brazilian reais

     74      98      —