MEXICO CITY, Jan. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grupo Salinas, a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies deeply committed to the modernization of the countries in which they operate— founded by Ricardo Salinas (www.ricardosalinas.com)— announced today that 2011 was once again a year of solid operating and financial performance for its primary companies.
Grupo Elektra —Latin America's leading financial services company and specialty retailer— had a double digit revenue growth, in the context of increased commercial sales, particularly computers, motorcycles and telephony, as a result of the preference of millions of families from the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid for brands that improve their living standards. The higher revenues were instrumental for the remarkable expansion of the consolidated EBITDA of the company during the year, which directly influenced company share value.
Banco Azteca —the most important financial subsidiary of Grupo Elektra—ended the year with over 12 million deposit accounts, as well as a similar number of credit accounts in Mexico, impressive numbers for a country with approximately 25 million families. The growth of the portfolio was remarkable during the period, mainly due to the dynamism in personal loans that expand customer purchasing power, and increasingly through Micronegocio Azteca, credit that positively affects wellbeing at a growing number of communities. The quality of Banco Azteca assets was outstanding when compared to institutions focused on similar markets.
In regards to Grupo Salinas' broadcast television businesses, Azteca —one of the two largest producers of Spanish-language television programming in the world— further strengthened its successful programming grids, which resulted in a 41% full-day commercial audience share for the year. Prime time and pre-prime programs were especially important, including Cosas de la Vida, A Corazon Abierto, Cielo Rojo, Box Internacional, Extranormal and many more, which garnered large audiences and generated optimum frameworks for the development of successful campaigns for many advertisers. Azteca America, Azteca's subsidiary for the U.S. Hispanic market, achieved strong revenue due to the preference of advertisers for the popular content of the network, and expanded its EBITDA thanks to effective cost controls and strict budget management. Finally, Azteca won a tender to build and operate a fiber optic network that would cover about 80% of Colombia, an area where about 40 million Colombians reside. The Colombian government provides approximately US$230 million for the construction of the network.
Despite international turbulence, the outstanding performance of the companies allowed both, Grupo Elektra and Azteca, to successfully access the international financial markets, by means of the issuance of long term bonds at competitive terms.
Also, in the telecommunications sector, Grupo Iusacell —a leading provider of wireless communication, operating with cutting-edge technology— further increased its number of users thanks to its advanced voice and data transmission service at very competitive prices. Through Totalplay, Grupo Iusacell offers the most innovative Internet, television, and telephony, both mobile and land, services in the country.
Through Fundacion Azteca, Grupo Salinas developed important social action initiatives to add more value to the communities in which it operates. Some of them are: Limpiemos Nuestro Mexico, an environmental cleanup and consciousness creating campaign that united 3,600,000 people to collect and separate 29,000 tons of garbage throughout Mexico; through Esperanza Azteca we created a youth orchestra and choir network —that reaches out to 10,000 children of limited resources— in order to promote harmonious coexistence; by the means of El Jugueton we collected more than 15 million toys that brought joy to needy children; we also organized the 65th Movimiento Azteca television fundraising campaign, a program that assists non-profits that range from the Mexican Red Cross to burn treatment centers for youth; and contributed to the construction of two sustainable rural cities, accommodating an average of 2,500 inhabitants each, that concentrated people from disperse populations to efficiently provide access to public services and job training. Plantel Azteca provided free secondary and technical high school to more than 2,300 academically outstanding youth with limited resources. Fundacion Azteca's programs also reached the United States, Peru, Guatemala, and El Salvador.
The Group also supported Fomento Cultural Grupo Salinas, which spread art and culture through books, expositions and the promotion of traditional handcrafts. It also promoted Caminos de la Libertad to generate reflection on the importance of freedom through essay contests and other activities. The group also sponsored Ciudad de las Ideas, a thought forum that unites brilliant minds in the city of Puebla to encourage reflection among thousands of attendees. We also promoted the activities of Kybernus, an organization seeking to develop future leaders that are so needed in our country.
Grupo Salinas has more than 100 years of adding value to the communities in which it operates, and considers that it has a solid position to continue outstanding development of its activities and strong advances in 2012.
Grupo Salinas (www.gruposalinas.com) is a group of dynamic, fast growing, and technologically advanced companies focused on creating shareholder value, building the Mexican middle class, and improving society through excellence. Created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas (www.ricardosalinas.com), Grupo Salinas operates as a management development and decision forum for the top leaders of member companies. These companies include: TV Azteca (www.tvazteca.com.mx; irtvazteca.com), Azteca America (www.aztecaamerica.com), Grupo Elektra (www.grupoelektra.com.mx), Banco Azteca (www.bancoazteca.com.mx), Afore Azteca (www.aforeazteca.com.mx), Seguros Azteca (www.segurosazteca.com.mx) and Grupo Iusacell (www.iusacell.com). Each of the Grupo Salinas companies operates independently, with its own management, board of directors and shareholders. Grupo Salinas has no equity holdings.
International Press Contact: Daniel McCosh; (5255) 1720-0059; email@example.com
SOURCE Grupo Salinas