Mexican baked goods company Grupo Bimbo SAB (BIMBO.MX) said Wednesday its fourth-quarter net profit decreased 26% on the year to 1.01 billion pesos ($79 million), a reflection of the company's operating performance and higher effective tax rate.
The company said sales rose 37% to MXN41.62 billion, driven by organic growth and the integration of Sara Lee Corp. (>> Sara Lee Corp.) operations in the U.S. and Spain, as well as Fargo operations in Argentina.
Higher raw material costs, integration expenses for acquisitions and the depreciation of the Mexican peso ate into the company's quarterly gross margin, which was 51% versus 51.9% in the year-earlier quarter.
Operating income for the quarter increased 8.4% to MXN2.90 billion, although the company's operating margin fell to 7% from 8.8%.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization grew 15% to MXN4.60 billion for an Ebitda margin of 11% compared with 13.2% in the fourth quarter 2010.
For the full year, Bimbo posted net profit of MXN5.33 billion, down 1.2%, for a net profit margin of 4%. Net sales grew 14.1% in 2011 to MXN133.73 billion.
-By Amy Guthrie, Dow Jones Newswires; (5255) 5980-5177; firstname.lastname@example.org