Coca-Cola FEMSA S.A.B de C.V. (NYSE:KOF) Q1 2019 Earnings Conference Call Transcript
Apr 26, 2019 • 09:30 am ET
Please standby, as we're about to begin. Good morning, everyone, and welcome to Coca-Cola FEMSA's First Quarter 2019 Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded, and all participants are in a listen-only mode. At the request of the Company, we will open the conference up for questions and answers after the presentation.
During this conference call, management may discuss certain forward-looking statements concerning Coca-Cola FEMSA's future performance, and should be considered as good faith estimates made by the Company. These forward-looking statements reflect management's expectations and are based upon currently available data. Actual results are subject to future events and uncertainties, which can materially impact the Company's actual performance.
At this time, I will now turn the conference over to Mr. John Santa Maria, Chief Executive Officer of FEMSA Coca-Cola.
John Santa Maria Otazua
Thank you. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us to discuss our first quarter 2019 results. Constantino Spas, our CFO; and Maria Dyla our Director of Corporate Investor Relations are with us here today.
I'm pleased with our Company's positive results to start the year, despite currency volatility and uncertain economic conditions that affected our financial performance. In Mexico and Central America, we reported healthy top and bottom line growth, as we continue to leverage on our state-of-the-art analytics capabilities.
Our South America division's performance was driven mainly by a 9.1% volume growth in Brazil, where we continued to gain share across categories, thanks to our robust portfolio and relentless point-of-sale execution. To protect our profitability, we continue implementing mitigation actions to navigate very complicated situations in Colombia and Argentina as well. We recorded top line growth of close to 5% for the first quarter of 2019, while our comparable revenues grew 10%. This growth was driven by prices ahead of inflation in most of our operations, excellent revenue management, and very agile and compelling point-of-sale execution.
However, these positive factors were partially offset by unfavorable currency translation effects from all of our operating currencies, which represented the largest headwind of the quarter to our financial statements. Our operating income declined less -- slightly less than 1%, 0.9%, while our comparable operating income increased by more than 9%. Our recorded operating income declined -- was driven mainly by higher PET prices, higher concentrate costs, and operating expenses and the depreciation in most of our operating currencies as it applies to our US dollar-denominated raw material cost, which were partially offset by sugar sweetener savings, primarily in Mexico.
Our operating cash flow grew 4.6%, while our comparable operating cash flows increased by more than 11% year-on-year. Consequently, our controlling net income increased by more than 7% for earnings per share of MXN0.15, which is equivalent to MXN1.23 per earnings per unit of the newly floated unit that we just did.
During the quarter, we took significant steps to enable our strategy to continue guiding our vision to ensure sustainable profit growth. In portfolio, the continued revitalizing and expanding of the CSD category through affordability and innovation, highlighted