MEXICO CITY, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Mexican conglomerate Alfa on Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter net profit of 4.86 billion pesos ($249 million), reversing losses from the year-earlier period thanks to a rise in revenue from its food and petrochemical units

The group also cut expenses.

Revenue at the Monterrey-based company, whose business lines include food and petrochemicals, rose 7% to 87.70 billion pesos, beating Refinitiv estimates, mainly due to strong sales by subsidiary Alpek.

Still, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), or core earnings, in the quarter dropped 30% to 6.82 billion pesos from 9.7 billion a year before.

Alfa's shareholders approved last year the spinoff of telecommunications subsidiary Axtel. Analysts consulted by Reuters considered the firm could make a similar move with Alpek to boost the group's overall valuation.

Alfa president Alvaro Fernandez said in a statement that "ALFA enters 2023 in a solid position amid lower expectations for the global economy."

To support growth, Alfa deployed $1.1 billion in capex in all of 2022, twice as much as in 2021, while cutting corporate expenses by 41%, according to a company statement.

($1 = 19.5089 pesos at end-December) (Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Marion Giraldo; Editing by Isabel Woodford)