2014: A dim year for multinationals in Latin America
Carmakers saw the steepest falls in profit in 2014. Photo: Toyota Motors Europe

Carmakers saw the steepest falls in profit in 2014. Photo: Toyota Motors Europe

5th April 2015

By David Ramirez
Latin Trade’s Multinational Companies (MNCs) index–which measures the US dollar-revenue of the top 25 MNCs operating in Latin America–fell yet again in the last quarter of 2014, by 10.4 percent year on year, as local currencies weakened further against the greenback and economic conditions continued deteriorating.
Subsequently, total revenue generated by the MNCs for their activities in the region went down by 13.5 percent in 2014 as a whole, to $215.3 billion. In contrast, the total revenue of this group of MNCs around the world fell by 6.0 percent last year to $1.23 trillion.
Headwinds were particularly strong for automakers, largely reflecting last year’s 7 percent slump in vehicle sales in Brazil, the region’s biggest market. Indeed, German automaker Volkswagen was LT’s MNC index worst performer in 2014, as its regional revenue plunged 30 percent in the year as a whole.
Peers Fiat and Ford  also registered sharp revenue declines last year, by 24 and 19 percent respectively, but along with Volkswagen experienced less sharp revenue reductions in the last quarter, possibly suggesting that the worst has passed.
Affected by intense competition amid a less favorable economic environment, telecoms firms were also were significant under performers in the index. Revenues for Finnish telecoms infrastructure and equipment provider Nokia dived by almost 30 percent in the year, albeit a less sharp contraction in the last …

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