Mexican bread maker Bimbo has posted a fall in net profits for its fourth quarter, despite a rise in sales.

Bimbo posted a 6.4% fall in fourth-quarter net profit, hit by a one-time charge that affected the value of deferred taxes.

For the fourth quarter, Bimbo booked an 8.5% rise in net sales to MXN19bn (US$1.7bn). It said that the rise had been driven by steady gains in Mexico and the US, and strong growth in Latin America

The global baking group said it had continued to build sales momentum over the year, as the company benefited from an improving sales mix and price rises.

"This is attributable to stable sales volume and a better sales mix, as well as to pricing actions taken throughout the year in all regions, which were primarily implemented to offset the significant price escalation of the company's key raw materials, particularly wheat flour, fats, oils and dairy," a statement said.

Operating income for the quarter rose 3.2%, while a 0.5 percentage point decline in the margin, to 10.3%, reflected the increase in raw material costs and administrative expenses.

For the full year, net income rose 3.5% to Ps3.8 billion on sales of Ps72bn, which were up 8.2%.

For the full year, operating income rose 5.2%, with a slight 0.2 percentage point decline in the margin, to 8.9%.