MEXICO – Mexican Coca-Cola bottler FEMSA is considering investing between US$7 billion to US$8 billion in new store launches over the upcoming five to six years, Reuters reports.

According to FEMSA, the proceeds from the sale of Dutch brewing giant Heineken and Jetro Restaurant Depot as it focuses on retail and bottling, and internal revenues will be used to facilitate the expansion.

FEMSA said it was also eyeing new strategic ventures and the distribution of extraordinary dividends as options for its capital allocation plan.

“We have a very nice problem of having a lot of cash,” said interim Chief Executive Jose Antonio Fernandez on a call after earnings were announced.

Net profit rose 18% from the year-ago quarter to 6.16 billion pesos (US$360 million) on revenue, which also grew 18%, to 198.22 billion pesos.

The company said it opened 444 new units in Latin America during the quarter, reaching a net total of 1,391 new stores added over the last year. As of June 30, Proximity Americas had 22,059 Oxxo stores.

The company’s fintech arm, Spin by Oxxo, more than doubled its user base from a year earlier to 7.6 million users.

Coca-Cola FEMSA recently reported a slight increase in quarterly net income, lifted by higher sales volumes and a favorable exchange rate.

FEMSA did not update its timeline for finding a new non-interim CEO after its former chief executive, Daniel Rodriguez Cofre, who presided over the company’s divestment of non-strategic assets, was stepping down as CEO to focus on treatment for a previously diagnosed colon cancer.

“After a period of deep reflection, I have made this difficult decision, which I believe is the best for my family and for FEMSA,” Cofre said.

The company’s board approved replacing him with Chairman and former CEO Jose Antonio Fernandez Carbajal as interim head effective immediately, according to a statement.

Cofre would remain in his post through treatment and recovery with support from executive staff, the company said then.

He joined FEMSA in 2015 as Chief Financial and Corporate Officer before being named the Chief Executive Officer of FEMSA Comercio in 2016. He was appointed to the group’s CEO role on January 1, 2022.

Prior to joining the Company, he was CFO and then CEO of CENCOSUD (Centros Comerciales Sudamericanos S.A.), among other senior finance and management positions in Latin America and Europe.

He holds a forest engineering degree from the Austral University of Chile and an MBA from Adolfo Ibañez University.

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