February 12, 2018 / 9:46 PM / 2 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico's Alfa reports smaller net loss in 4th qtr

(Adds results detail and background)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Alfa, which competes in industries from food packaging to car parts to petrochemicals, on Monday reported a narrower net loss in the fourth quarter, hit by exchange rate losses.

The company reported a 590 million peso ($30 million) loss for the October to December period, narrower than the 1.27 billion peso loss in the year earlier quarter, but said it was hit by higher exchange rate losses.

Mexico’s peso depreciated almost 8 percent against the dollar in the fourth quarter.

Revenue rose 6 percent to 81.3 billion pesos, thanks to growth in frozen food unit Sigma, petrochemicals unit Alpek and car parts maker Nemak, the company said.

Alfa’s shares ended 2017 well below where they started, in part after a major client of Alpek’s went overdue on bills for the supply of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a key ingredient in polyester production.

In the third quarter, the company posted a nearly 6 billion peso loss and cut its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) guidance for the year to $2 billion.

The company was also unable to hold a planned initial public offering for Sigma.

$1 = 19.6595 pesos at end-December Reporting by Christine Murray and Noe Torres Editing by Marguerita Choy

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