Gruma majority net slides sharply in first quarter

by Eric Schroeder
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MONTERREY, MEXICO — Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. posted majority net income of 84 million pesos ($6,470,000) in the first quarter ended March 31, down sharply from 4,093 million pesos in the same period in fiscal 2011.

Sales totaled 15,412 million pesos ($1,167 million), up 26% from 12,187 million pesos in the same period a year ago. The company said sales growth reflected price increases across most subsidiaries as well as 5% volume growth driven mainly by Gruma Corp. and GIMA.

Operating income at Gruma Corp. totaled 272 million pesos ($20,953,000), down 12% from 309 million pesos in the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Net sales totaled 6,369 million pesos ($490,625,000), up 13% from 5,622 million pesos a year ago. Sales volume at Gruma Corp. grew 12%.

“The increase (in sales volume) resulted from the acquisitions made during 2011 as well as from organic growth, especially at the European operations in connection with new and increased customer accounts, and launching of new products, among others,” Gruma said.

Operating income at GIMSA totaled 294 million pesos ($22,651,000), down 29% from 417 million pesos in the same period a year ago. Net sales, meanwhile, totaled 4,273 million pesos ($329,182,000), up 35%. Sales volume at GIMSA increased 4% to 490,000 tonnes.

Shares of Gruma S.A.B. de C.V., which traded as high as $11.85 per share on April 25 prior to the earnings release, fell 13% to as low as $10.30 per share on April 27.

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