Bimbo's U.S. sales jump nearly 8% for year

by Jeff Gelski
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MEXICO CITY — A favorable sales mix, new product launches, strong volumes at national retailers and growth in Mexico branded goods helped drive a fiscal year sales increase of 8% in the United States for Mexico City-based Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V.

U.S. sales of NP15,218 million ($1,389 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, compared with NP14,103 million ($1,287 million) in the previous fiscal year. Fourth-quarter U.S. sales increased 9% to NP3,861 million. Fiscal year operating profit in the United States was NP188 million, more than double the operating profit of NP81 million in the previous fiscal year despite an increase in raw material costs and the impact of expanded distribution routes into the Hispanic market.

Grupo Bimbo added it implemented a price increase in the fourth quarter in the United States, which followed a previous increase earlier in the year. Both price increases were needed to offset rising raw material costs, according to Grupo Bimbo.

Companywide, Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. posted net majority income of NP3,499 million in the fiscal year, which compared with NP2,975 million in the previous fiscal year. Net sales for the year were up 9% to NP63,633 million. Sales in Mexico rose 8% to NP44,704 million, and sales in Latin America increased 22% to NP5,330 million.

Total liabilities on Dec. 31 were NP18,127 million, up slightly from NP17,975 million on Dec. 31, 2005.

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