MEXICO: Arca sees "high potential" for snacks
Mexican food and drink group Arca Continental has said it believes its snacks business, which includes US company Wise Foods, has a "high potential for growth".
Arca, a bottler of Coca-Cola products in Latin America, bolstered its snacks arm in December 2012 with two acquisitions - Wise Foods in the US and Ecuador's Industrias Alimenticias Ecuatorianas, or Inalecsa. The deals added to Bokados, Arca's snack business in Mexico.
The company yesterday (19 February) reported its annual results, figures that do not include total sales or profits from its snacks businesses across the three markets. However, a spokesperson for Arca told just-food, the company's snacks sales reached US$400m in 2013, without providing a figure for 2012, although sales would have been lower, with just the Bokados business that year.
Sales of $400m means snacks accounts for 8% of Arca's revenues, although the company said the business had a "high potential for growth".
Speaking to analysts after the results were published, COO Arturo Gutiérrez said: "We are pleased to report that we are rapidly accelerating the pace of integration of our operations across Mexico, the US and Ecuador and continue posting solid revenue growth and margin expansion. We just celebrated our first anniversary of the acquisition of Wise and Inalecsa and we are very satisfied with the progress we have achieved so far."
Gutiérrez said Wise posted "solid mid-single digit sales and EBITDA growth" in the fourth quarter of 2013 and added: "Wise has outperformed the salty snack category in dollar sales, becoming the top velocity player in this industry."
Arca CEO Francisco Garza Egloff said Inalecsa had achieved "excellent results, increasing EBITDA by 26% year on year".
The company is taking snacks products on sale in Mexico and Ecuador and launching them in the US.
It introduced Topitos tortilla chips, under the Wise brand, in the US in the fourth quarter. Gutiérrez said Arca was placing greater emphasis on the fast-developing tortilla chip segment".
Tortolines plantain chips produced by Inalecsa are reaching Hispanic retailers in the US, including what Arca called the "key new markets" of Dallas and Los Angeles.
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