Higher prices drive Mexico's Gruma profit up 73 percent

MEXICO CITY Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:46pm EDT

MEXICO CITY Oct 24 (Reuters) - Mexican corn miller and tortilla maker Gruma said on Wednesday its third-quarter profit rose 73 percent from the year earlier period, boosted by higher prices.

Third-quarter profit rose to 267 million pesos ($21 million) from 154 million pesos a year earlier, when foreign exchange losses hurt earnings.

Gruma said revenue rose 7 percent to 16.226 billion pesos from 15.222 billion pesos a year earlier, helped by higher prices for its goods. Sales volumes were up 3 percent.

Gruma shares closed 0.27 percent higher at 41.82 pesos on Wednesday at a record high after jumping 10 percent since last Friday.

U.S. agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland said on Tuesday that it reached a preliminary deal to sell its 23 percent stake in Gruma to the chairman of Mexican airport operator Asur, Fernando Chico Pardo.

Gruma's founder, Mexican businessman Roberto Gonzalez Barrera, who was also chairman emeritus of bank Banorte, died in August. He and his family controlled 50.05 percent of the company's stock, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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