Global net sales of Grupo Bimbo increased by 7.8% in 2018, reaching a total of MXN$ 288.3 billion.
The group put these “record figures” mainly down to its performance in Mexico and North America, regions that grew their net sales by 10.5% and 4.5%, respectively.
Daniel Servitje, chairman of the board and CEO, said: "We ended the year breaking records in net sales, gross profit, operating income, and adjusted EBITDA, positioning ourselves as a company with greater strength and efficiency, which will continue to create value and serve our consumers".
In its home market, the increase in sales was driven mainly by volume increases in all channels, and in all categories, particularly cakes, pastries, and sweet bread, it said. The Mexican launch of Bimbo Donuts, a category-leading Spanish brand, contributed to some of its home growth, the bakery giant said.
The Mexican manufacturer has acquired Chilean baked goods brand Nutra Bien.
Headquartered in Talagante, Chile, Nutra Bien’s portfolio includes brownies, muffins, cookies, and cakes. The acquisition will complement Grupo Bimbo's current portfolio and help expand its distribution and reach in Chile, it said.
Last year also saw the company expand its presence in Asia with the acquisitions of QSR and Mankattan in China.
In the rest of Latin America, net sales in the fourth quarter grew by 5.1%. “This [reflected] the good performance in Central America, Colombia, and Ecuador, as well as the volume growth in Chile, where the tortilla category stood out. These factors managed to compensate for the difficult economic conditions and the negative effect of change primarily in Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.”
The year also had its bumps, however, pitching the company against clear “macroeconomic challenges” in Latin America.
Daniel Servitje, chairman and CEO of Grupo Bimbo told investors in the third quarter: “The big story was Brazil and Argentina, where political and market turmoil coupled with the depreciation of currencies had a significant impact on almost every sector, as well as on consumer confidence overall.”
It also took action to its currency breakdown, and ended the year with 59% of its business operating in US dollars, 36% in Mexican pesos and 5% in Canadian dollars, reducing its exposure to variations in interest rates and fluctuations in exchange rates.
To download Grupo Bimbo’s full annual report, click here.