Net sales in the division, which includes Canada, rose 28.8% year-on-year in 2015 to $6.4bn (Mex $116.4bn).
The growth was driven primarily by a combination of currency benefit and acquisitions, said the company, as bread category volumes had been under pressure due to price increases in the first half of the year.
But there had been strong performance in the North American sweet bread, snacks and breakfast categories, it added, including successful launches such as Sara Lee and Thomas Craftsman Swirl Breads in the US and the Campagnard in Canada
Grupo Bimbo’s European division also benefited from exchange rates, with net sales rising 9.6% year on year to $414.8m (Mex $7.66bn). The UK bagel operation taken on by the company as part of its acquisition of Canada Bread in 2014 had also boosted net revenue. Sales from the Iberia business had been hit by price competition between brands and private label, however.
Currency exchange rates also contributed to the 10.7% growth in sales in the Latin America division, although Grupo Bimbo reported higher volumes in Brazil and most Central American countries. Despite challenging economic conditions in some countries, sales of premium bread and tortillas continued to grow.
In Grupo Bimbo’s home market of Mexico, increased volumes contributed to a 5.8% increase in sales to $4.2bn (Mex $76.3bn). Volume gains had been boosted by new product launches including snack chips and artisan breads and, with the exception of sweet bread and confectionery, sales were up in all categories.
Across the overall business, net sales grew 17.2% to $12bn (Mex $219.2bn), with operating income up 36.9% year on year to $775.7m (Mex $14.1bn). Margins had benefited from lower restructuring expenses in the US and distribution efficiencies in Mexico.