Mexican corn miller Gruma Q4 profit drops 64 percent

Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:44pm EST

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* Profit falls to 327 million pesos

* Higher financing costs, Venezuela troubles weigh

MEXICO CITY Feb 27 (Reuters) - Mexican corn miller and tortilla maker Gruma said on Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profit slumped 64 percent due to higher financing costs and labor troubles at its Venezuela unit.

Fourth-quarter profit fell to 327 million pesos ($25 million) from 918 million pesos a year earlier.

Financing costs rose to 231 million pesos due to higher interest payments and foreign exchange losses, compared with a financing gain of 99 million pesos in the year-ago period.

Gruma said revenue rose 2 percent to 16.398 billion pesos from 16.766 billion pesos a year earlier.

The company said that sales in Venezuela fell 15 percent due to a labor conflict and electricity supply problems, adding that it had now resolved the dispute with workers and the plants were operating normally.

Gruma shares closed down 2.2 percent on Wednesday at 44.43 pesos, slipping off a record high, before its earnings were issued after market close.

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