Mexico's Bimbo to increase its 2022 investment to $1.5 billion

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The logo of Mexican breadmaker Grupo Bimbo is pictured on a delivery truck in Monterrey, Mexico, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

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MEXICO CITY, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Mexican breadmaker Grupo Bimbo reported a 66.9% increase in fourth quarter net profit on Tuesday, driven by strong sales, lower financing costs and an effective income tax rate.

Grupo Bimbo's (BIMBOA.MX) earnings jumped to 4.8 billion pesos ($235 million) in the October-December period, beating the Refinitiv estimate of 3.3 billion pesos ($162 million).

Revenue for the company, which operates some 100 brands, climbed 14.9% in the last three months of 2021, driven by a mix of favorable prices.

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On a call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer Diego Gaxiola Cuevas said Bimbo would increase prices this year to catch up with inflation, labor shortages and supply chain constraints.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the quarter soared to 13.5 billion pesos, beating the Refinitiv estimate of 12.9 billion pesos.

Cuevas said the company will spend $1.5 billion in 2022, up from the previously estimated $900 million, on growth projects including new products, mostly in North America where sales increeased 12.9% in the quarter.

($1 = 20.5075 pesos at end-December)

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Reporting by Valentine Hilaire and Noe Torres; editing by Jonathan Oatis, Sandra Maler and Jane Wardell

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