Gruma Q3 income up sharply from year ago

by Eric Schroeder
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MEXICO CITY — Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. posted net income of 112 million pesos ($8,566,000) in the third quarter, versus a loss of 1,663 million pesos in the same period in fiscal 2008. The loss in 2008 was attributed to the company’s currency derivative instruments. Sales totaled 12,566 million pesos ($961,234,000), up 12% from 11,244 million pesos in the same period a year ago.

The company said sales volume during the most recent quarter rose 1% due to higher sales volume in GIMSA and, to a lesser extent, Molinera de Mexico.

Operating income at Gruma Corp. totaled 483 million pesos ($36,957,000), up sharply from 92 million pesos in the third quarter of fiscal 2008. Net sales totaled 5,959 million pesos ($455,950,000), down 1% from 6,005 million pesos a year ago.

Sales volume at Gruma Corp. fell 3% due to lower tortilla sales volume in connection with a product-count reduction in some of the company’s tortilla stock-keeping units for the retail segment and lower sales in food service driven by a decline in the industry, as well as by lower corn flour sales volume in the United States as the company announced a price reduction at the beginning of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 to reflect lower corn prices.

Operating income at GIMSA totaled 298 million pesos ($22,806,000), up 6% from 280 million pesos in the same period a year ago. Net sales totaled 2,615 million pesos ($200,129,000), up 13%.

Sales volume at GIMSA rose 4% to 477,000 tonnes, driven by several initiatives designed to expand coverage, the opening of in-store tortillerias in supermarkets, increased sales to supermarkets in connection with competitive tortilla prices at these customers’ in-store tortillerias, and the build up of inventories in anticipation of price increases.

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