CANADA – Grupo Bimbo, the Mexico-based bakery giant has expanded its North American presence with the purchase of rye bread producer Natural Bakery in Winnipeg Canada, Bakery and Snacks has reported.

In addition, the group has revealed that it has made a minority investment in US breakfast biscuit maker Olyra Foods Olyra Foods.

The acquisition deals were revealed as Grupo Bimbo published its first-quarter results, although the company did not disclose the price paid for the family-owned business

According to Bimbo, the acquisition has continued despite the Group’s lower Q1 profit where the Mexican bakery giant reported first-quarter sales of 99.6bn pesos (US$5.5bn), representing a rise of 9.9% on a year-on-year basis. However, the net majority income was down 9.4% at MXN4.05bn.

According to Bimbo, this was mainly attributed to the discontinuation of its confectionery business Ricolino – which it sold to Mondelez International for around US$1.3bn last year – but also to the “high inflationary environment and even higher commodity prices than last year.

Discounting these, Bimbo said its profit would have risen 42% and its margin by 90 basis points following that the company’s revenues climbed 10% to reach 99.56 billion pesos (US$5.5bn) for the quarter.

Founded in 1957, Natural Bakery supplies a range of rye bread, such as Canadian, European, Hanover, and Baltic variations. The company moved to new premises in Winnipeg in 2007 and also operates a retail bakery

“This company is a one bakery operation specializing in the production and sales of a variety of rye breads, strengthening our health and wellness portfolio,” said Daniel Servitye chairman and CEO during the presentation.

On the other hand, Olyra Foods was founded in 2017 and produces biscuits inspired by founder Yannis Varellas’ upbringing in his family’s grain mill in Greece, sold online in more than 5,000 retail locations across the US.

“Olyra, in a very authentic way, has tapped into a consumer need for more nutritious and delicious breakfast solutions,” said Constantino Matouk, VP of Bimbo Ventures.

North America is the company’s largest market, generating first-quarter sales of MXN47.3bn(Mexican Peso) , followed by Mexico at MXN36.2bn. The European Economic Area (EEA) accounted for MXN10.3bn and Latin America MXN9.6bn.

“We see that we still have a lot of opportunities for organic and also from non-organic growth,” Servitje said. “And that’s why we are continually looking at opportunities on both ends.”

The acquisition adds to the bakery giant’s recent acquisition spree. In January, Bimbo entered Romania with a deal for Vel Pitar from New York-based private-equity fund CHL capital while in October last year, the group snapped up UK-headquartered St Pierre Groupe.

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