The original report was published in the USA Today on Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Foreign sales are sweet for business
Grupo Nutresa’s international growth means high quality treats for a larger market
Originally called Grupo Nacional de Chocolates, the conglomerate very recently changed its name to Grupo Nutresa to better reflect its broadened focus on cold cuts, coffee, ice cream, cookies and pasta, in addition to chocolate.
Today with a 60% market share, Nutresa is Colombia’s leading processed food company and ranks among the Latin American food sector’s top 10 regional players. Sales hit $2.52 billion in 2010 and though this was lower than the 2009 results ($2.59 billion) – due to the devaluation of the Venezuelan currency – shareholder dividends rose by over 5%.
Aside from venturing into new foods, the 90-year-old group has also been exploring opportunities abroad.
Despite recent acquisitions in the U.S. and the Dominican Republic, Mr. Piedrahita, who has led Nutresa’s aggressive internationalization policies for over a decade, says that the group’s foreign sales represent just 30% of the total, a number he plans to increase if it is to become a truly global company.
Earlier this month, Nutresa broke records on the Colombian Stock Exchange, when its sale of 25 million shares was met with a demand 17 times higher. The group sought to raise $295 million, yet investors eagerly responded with offers topping $5 billion.
Other merits this year include the group’s inclusion in the SAM Group’s Sustainability Yearbook 2011, the world’s most comprehensive report regarding corporate sustainability. Nutresa is the only Latin American food company and the first Colombian firm to be highlighted in this list.
A UNITED WORLD SUPPLEMENT PRODUCED BY:
Gemma Gutierrez, Alvaro Buenaventura, Carlos Rodriguez-Villa, Irama Vega, Alberto Mariscal, and Saturnino Izquierdo
Northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Ecuador and Panama
AREA - comparative:
slightly less than twice the size of Texas
tropical along coast and eastern plains; cooler in highlands
GDP - composition by sector:
services: 52.7% (2010 est.)
AGRICULTURE - products:
coffee, cut flowers, bananas, rice, tobacco, corn, sugarcane, cocoa beans, oilseed, vegetables; forest products; shrimp
textiles, food processing, oil, clothing and footwear, beverages, chemicals, cement; gold, coal, emeralds
$40.24 billion (2010 est.)
EXPORTS - commodities:
petroleum, coffee, coal, nickel, emeralds, apparel, bananas, cut flowers
EXPORTS - partners:
US 42%, EU 12.6%, China 5.2%, Ecuador 4.5% (2010 est.)