Mexico's Bimbo second-quarter profit up 4.4 pct

MEXICO CITY, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:24pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, July 23 (Reuters) - Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, one of the world's largest bread makers by volume, on Tuesday reported a 4.4 percent higher second-quarter profit as operational improvements offset pressure from a higher tax rate.

The company's reported a profit of 922.4 million pesos ($71 million), compared with 883.2 million pesos ($68 million) in the year-earlier quarter.

Bimbo said it paid a higher tax rate over the quarter that trimmed its net profit.

Revenue for the quarter was flat at 43.46 billion pesos ($3.35 billion). Operating profit rose 20.3 percent to 4.5 billion pesos ($346.7 million), helped by lower sales costs and general expenses.

Shares in Bimbo closed up 3.33 percent at 41.31 pesos, prior to the release of its quarterly report.

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