MEXICO CITY, MEXICO – Operating income of the North American business of Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV totaled 1.8 billion pesos ($110 million) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up 58% from 1.1 billion pesos in the third quarter of 2014. The earnings gain eclipsed a jump of 47% in the second quarter of 2015. Year-to-date BBU operating income was 3.6 billion pesos ($222 million), up 61%. Net sales in the quarter were 30.3 billion pesos ($1.8 billion), up 23% from 24.7 billion pesos. Year-to-date sales were 83.6 billion pesos ($5 billion), up 29%. Of this 29% gain, a strengthening U.S. dollar versus the peso accounted for 16.7 percentage points. The company indicated it has taken steps to arrest a recent erosion in sales volume.

“While pricing initiatives in the U.S. during the first half of the year led to limited volume gains, growth has been notable in the sweet baked goods, breakfast and snacks categories,” Bimbo said.

Gross profit margins in the third quarter were 52.8%, up from 51.1% the year before. Bimbo attributed the 170-point widening of the margins to lower average raw material costs. Lower restructuring costs in the United States were a benefit to operating earnings

Year-to-date BBU restructuring costs were 938 million pesos ($57 million) versus 1.6 billion during the same period last year. Higher integration-related costs, though, were a drag on profitability.

Net majority income of Grupo Bimbo in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 was 2.2 billion pesos ($138 million), up 33% from 1.7 billion in the third quarter of 2014.  Net sales were 56.2 billion pesos ($3.4 billion), up 14%. Year-to-date earnings were 4.8 billion pesos, up 30%. Net sales were 159.3 billion pesos, up 17%.