MEXICO CITY — Operating income of Gruma Corp. in the year ended Dec. 31, 2014, was 3,212 million pesos ($215 million), up 27% from 2,531 million pesos in fiscal 2013. Gruma Corp. is the U.S. and U.K. segment of Gruma S.A.B. de C.V.
Sales were 32,307 million pesos ($2,158 million), up 1% from 31,886 million pesos in fiscal 2013. Sales volume was flat at 1,653,000 tonnes.
For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, operating income was 938 million pesos ($62.7 million), up 47% from the same period a year ago. Net sales in the quarter increased 3% to 7,935 million pesos from 7,739 million pesos. Sales volume increased 2% to 415,000 tonnes from 407,000.
Gruma said the sales volume gain reflected a 6% increase in U.S. operations, which largely was offset by the European operations due primarily to extraordinary sales of corn in Turkey in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.
“The volume increase in the U.S. was driven by both the corn flour and the tortilla operations,” Gruma said. “Corn flour grew by gaining share within customers that produce tortillas, organic growth at some snack manufacturers, and successful retail promotions.
“The U.S. tortilla operations rose due to the food service segment, resulting from organic growth and expansion of some Mexican food restaurant chains, introduction of dishes made with tortillas by non-Mexican food restaurant chains, and the retail segment, resulting from increased distribution, shelf space gains, product assortment optimization, more effective use of allowances and marketing tools, and the increasing popularity of some of our wheat flour tortillas, whose improved formula continues to be well accepted by consumers.”
Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales improved to 61% from 64.2% in the fourth quarter, driven mainly by U.S. tortilla operations, Gruma said.
“All of the improvement was driven by the U.S. operations, by both the corn flour and the tortilla businesses, as a result of extraordinary efficiencies in corn inventory handling; better fixed cost absorption; temporary benefits from the corn flour price reduction roll-out effective October 2014; sales mix improvement from focusing on high-margin products; s.k.u. rationalization; and lower raw-material costs while prices were relatively stable,” Gruma said.Majority net income of Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. in the fourth quarter was 1,376 million pesos ($91.9 million), down 34% from 2,097 million pesos in the fourth quarter of 2013. Net sales were 12,907 million pesos, up 5% from 12,250 million pesos ($862.5 million). For the full year, majority net income was 4,287 million pesos, up 36% from 3,163 million pesos in fiscal 2013. Net sales were 49,935 million pesos, up 2% from 49,036 million pesos a year ago.