Grupo Bimbo reports exceptional growth and snaps up St Pierre Groupe

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

'As the biggest brioche brand in the UK and America, St Pierre has already seen tremendous success within the category.' Pic: St Pierre
'As the biggest brioche brand in the UK and America, St Pierre has already seen tremendous success within the category.' Pic: St Pierre

Related tags Grupo bimbo St Pierre Groupe Paul Hollywood

The Mexican bread titan reported record sales and profits for Q3 2022, along with the acquisition of the UK bakery manufacturer, in a deal thought to be worth more than £300m.

The transaction was disclosed in Bimbo’s third-quarter financial results report.

“I am glad to share that in September, we completed the acquisition of St. Pierre, the leader in the premium branded fast-growing brioche category in the US and the UK,”​ said Daniel Servitje, Bimbo’s chairman and CEO.

“St. Pierre will bring synergies to both operations and complements our brands and categories, especially in the instore bakery segment.”

The Manchester-based baker produces premium brioche-style products (the biggest brioche brand in both the UK and US), along with croissants, crepes, pastries and par-baked breads under the brands St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood.​ Inspired by the Parisian cafe culture, the company is rapidly growing its international footprint, which includes the UK, Ireland, the Middle East and the US, the latter making up 50% of its annual sales.

St Pierre Groupe said the company has been “bought in its entirety and will continue to operate independently.

“St Pierre Groupe is an entrepreneurial business that has achieved phenomenal success,​ both at home and internationally, using insight to develop brands and products that carry global appeal.” ​This success saw St Pierre Groupe growing its revenues from $69m in 2018 to £111.5m in 2021.

The group has also grown its product range and secured listings with more retailers, stocked in over 35,000 stores worldwide.

The deal with Bimbo will take it to the next level.

“This is a fantastic achievement for our business and we are excited for the opportunities we will be able to take advantage of as part of the Grupo Bimbo family. Grupo Bimbo is the largest baking company in the world, with the right infrastructure and expertise to propel our brands on to even greater success.”

St Pierre

Rapid expansion programme

St Pierre Groupe was founded in 1986 as Carrs Foods, changing hands in 2004 in a management buyout by finance and operators manager Jeremy Gilboy and technical director Paul Baker. The pair transformed the company​ from a supplier of private label cakes into a baker of premium branded products.

The company began exporting products to Australia in 2011, but exited that market three years later. It debuted in the US in 2014 and quickly became a national brand, with annual sales climbing from £20m in 2012 to £69m in 2018.

In November 2018, it secured an £8m capital investment from Lloyds Banks Business Growth Fund (BGF) and changed its name to St Pierre Groupe.

“During BGF’s investment period, the business has successfully scaled its operations internationally, including a rapid expansion programme in the US, which now constitutes approximately 50% of the business’ annual sales revenue,”​ the investment firm said.

The company’s US retail sales nearly quadrupled between 2018 and 2021, from $34m to $130m. It opened its first US office in 2021 in Cincinnati.

Exceptional performance, despite inflationary environment

Cuernitos_SS_render_web (1)

Mexico City-based Bimbo has been very active in M&A of late.

In the past year alone, Bimbo bought the bakery assets in Brazil from Swiss peer Aryzta; ​acquired US cookies maker Emmy’s Organics; and announced the procurement of US popcorn maker Popcornopolis and Indian bakery business Kitty Bread, eight months after snapping up another Indian baker Modern Foods.

Grupo Bimbo reported third-quarter sales of MXN102.8bn ($5.1bn), up 20% from a year earlier.

Operating income rose 37.6% to MXN11bn ($553m), while adjusted EBITDA was up 15.2% at MXN14.5bn ($729m).

Net income climbed 50.8% to MXN6.1bn ($306m)

Daniel Servitje
Daniel Servitje

For the sixth consecutive year, Grupo Bimbo ranked first as the company with the Best Corporate Reputation in Mexico, and for the seventh consecutive year, Daniel Servitje was named the leader with the best reputation in the country.

Bimbo held the 2022 Bimbo Global Race,​ and thanks to more than 341 thousand participants, over 6.8 million slices of bread are being donated to food banks around the world.

The company is adding another 1,001 electric vehicles to its distribution fleet in Mexico, operating more than 2,300 vehicles with zero carbon emissions.

Bimbo China is now operating with 100% renewable electricity.

“Going forward, we are focused on innovation across our product portfolio with new launches such as Cuernitos bread with a croissant texture on the inside and on advancing towards reaching our low-cost producer model,”​ added Servitje.

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