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Walmex Sets New Record

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Wal-Mart sets a new record in Mexico, boosting sales six times more than the country's GDP growth.

BY CHRONICLE STAFF

Despite a difficult economic environment, retail giant Wal-Mart de Mexico (Walmex, ADR: WMMVY) boosted sales last year by 11.1 percent to a record 244.0 billion Mexican pesos (US$18.1 billion).  That means Walmex sales grew six times faster than the Mexican economy last year, which only expanded by an estimated 1.8 percent.

However, Walmex did see a slowdown in the fourth quarter and especially December. Fourth quarter sales grew by 8.4 percent to 72.4 billion pesos, while December sales increased by 5.6 percent to 31.4 billion pesos.

LATIN GIANT

Walmex is Mexico's fifth-largest firm and Latin America's 10th-largest, according to Latin America's Top 500 Companies from Latin Business Chronicle, which used 2007 data.

Walmex continued expanding last year, opening 182 new stores in Mexico. Of these, most - 129 - formed part of its Bodega Aurrera brand. It also opened 17 Wal-Mart Supercenters.  As a result, Walmex now operates a total of 1,204 stores in Mexico, of which 442 form part of the Bodega Aurrera brand, 153 are Wal-Mart Supercenters and the rest include Sam's Clubs, Superamas, Suburbias and restaurants.

Walmex also operates a bank, Banco Wal-Mart, which boasts more than 115,000 clients. Jose Maria Urquiza Gonzalez, a Citibank veteran, took over management of the bank last month.

 © Copyright Latin Business Chronicle

 

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