MEXICO CITY — Operating income at Gruma USA totaled 1,357 million pesos ($77.6 million) in the second quarter ended June 30, up 9% from 1,243 million pesos in the same period a year ago. Net sales increased 3% to 9,269 million pesos ($529.7 million), up from 8,845 million pesos.
Sales volume increased 3% to 344,000 tonnes, up from 335,000 tonnes in the same period a year ago. Operating margin, meanwhile, increased to 14.6% from 14%.
|Raul Cavazos, c.f.o. of Gruma|
“At Gruma USA, our volume increased 3%, out of which 2% came from corn flour and 4% came from tortilla business,” Raul Cavazos, chief financial officer, said during a July 20 conference call with analysts. “... The food service channel benefited from the recovery of volumes lost last year in connection with the s.k.u. (stock-keeping unit) rationalization process and from better performance at some large restaurant chains.
“In retail, volume continues to rise largely driven by our Super Soft wheat flour tortilla, the nationwide launch of our Street Taco tortilla, the expansion of gluten-free tortillas, new distribution and products at club formats and increased shelf space for corn chips at some retailers.
“Our sales volume trend confirms that tortillas are a growing category in the U.S. food industry and that we have been able to capture that growth while continuing to gain market share. The most recent Nielsen report indicates that during this quarter, the tortilla category rose 2% while Gruma growth was 4%.”
Cost of sales as a percentage of net sales climbed to 55.9% from 57% in the second quarter, Gruma said, driven by a change in the sales mix toward higher margin s.k.u.s at the retail tortilla business, lower raw material costs, non-recurrent health insurance reimbursements and cancellation of health insurance provisions.
Gruma said it invested $61 million in ongoing capital expenditure projects during the second quarter, allocated mostly to the United States. Projects in the United States included the construction of a tortilla plant in Dallas, the expansion of a corn flour plant in Indiana and the expansion of a tortilla plant in Florida. In other parts of the world projects included general technology upgrades in Mexico, construction of a tortilla plant in Russia, technology upgrades for packaging automation, especially at a flatbread plant in England, and the expansion of a tortilla plant in The Netherlands. In Asia, the company expanded a tortilla plant in Malaysia and added capacity at a tortilla plant in Australia.
Overall, majority net income at Gruma S.A.B. de C.V. in the second quarter ended June 30 was 1,432 million pesos ($81.8 million), up 1% from 1,417 million pesos in the same period a year ago. EBITDA was 2,835 million pesos, up 7% from 2,642 million pesos, while sales increased 7% to 17,437 million pesos from 16,348 million pesos.For the first six months of fiscal 2017, overall majority income was 2,714 million pesos, up 1% from 2,683 million pesos in the same period a year ago. EBITDA was 5,532 million pesos, up 8% from 5,117 million pesos, while sales increased 9% to 35,115 million pesos from 32,179 million pesos.