Mexico's top retailer boosts sales and profits amidst the country's worst economic crisis.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Despite a 6.8 percent GDP decline in Mexico last year, its worst performance ever, one of the country's top companies managed to boost sales and profits - Walmart
de Mexico (Walmex).
Sales grew by 10 percent to 269.4 billion pesos (US$20.6 billion), while net income grew 15 percent to 16.8 billion pesos.
“We achieved very solid results in a difficult economic environment, and we improved our competitive position for the long term,” Walmex President and CEO Scot Rank said in a statement.
CENTRAL AMERICA EXPANSION
The results come as Walmex last year acquired Walmart Centroamerica for $2.6 billion in what became Latin America’s fourth-largest deal, according to the Top 100 M&A’s ranking from Latin Business Chronicle and Thomson Reuters.
The success was in part due to implementing lower prices in the fourth quarter, which also helped reduce inventories, Rank said.
Last year, Walmex opened a record number of new stores – 275. It now operates 1,472 stores throughout 265 cities in Mexico.
Apart from offering Mexican consumers better prices during the crisis year and boosting jobs, Walmex also contributed to charitable causes. Last year, the Walmart de Mexico Foundation donated $387 million pesos to 202 organizations. It also sponsored 2,606 volunteer activities that benefited more than 3.4 million Mexicans, Rank pointed out.
The results give Rank a flying start. He was named to his current job in December, succeeding Eduardo Solorzano who was promoted to head Walmart Latin America. Rank previously was executive vice president and COO of Walmex.
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