Meanwhile, the “Productos Familia” subsidiary likewise saw a 4.27% profit decline, to COP$199 billion (US$62 million), according to the filing.
Grupo Familia earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell 9.58% year-on-year, to COP$375 billion (US$118 million), while the Productos Familia subsidiary saw EBITDA decline 14.7% year-on-year, to COP$242 billion (US$76 million).
Despite the profit declines, corporate-wide sales rose 3% year-on-year, to COP$2.4 trillion (US$753 million), while foreign sales rose 5.3%, to COP1.1 trillion (US$345 million), according to the filing.
Commenting on the results, Grupo Familia general manager Andres Felipe Gomez Salazar pointed out that much of the Latin America-Caribbean region where Familia mainly operates suffered from economic weakness during 2018, which hurt profits.
In Colombia, economic growth in 2018 rebounded somewhat, with gross domestic product (GDP) up 2.7% year-on-year. The election of moderate conservative Ivan Duque as President helped boost consumer confidence, but the prior government’s hike in value-added tax (“IVA”) to 19% weakened consumer spending.
Elsewhere in Familia’s Latin American markets, Argentina sales were especially hard-hit last year by a 100% currency devaluation, 40% inflation and declining GDP, Gomez noted. Ecuador also saw a slowdown in economic growth, at 1% GDP in 2018 versus 2.4% in 2017, which affected consumer spending on personal products.
Familia’s Puerto Rico market likewise suffered because of the continuing after-effects of a devastating hurricane. But the Dominican Republic market on the other hand enjoyed a 6% year-on-year rise in GDP last year, stimulating personal consumption, he said.
Finally, Peru, Bolivia and Chile all showed positive growth rates in 2018, helping to boost regional demand for Familia’s consumer products.
At year-end 2018, Grupo Familia reported having corporate divisions in eight countries, commercial operations in 13 countries, four regional distribution centers, production plants in eight countries and 4,858 employees.