—Grupo Salinas companies produce goods and services that improve the quality of life in the
communities where they operate—

—In the social sphere, Esperanza Azteca promoted values through music,
with 83 orchestras made up of more than 17,000 low-income children—

El Juguetón, the world’s largest toy drive,
generated more than 17 million smiles for needy children—

—Through the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge robotics world championship,
  innovative leaders of tomorrow applied science and technology—

—In support of the environment, Un Nuevo Bosque
convened more than 23,000 volunteers who planted 425,000 trees throughout Mexico—

MEXICO CITY, Jan. 02, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Grupo Salinas, a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies, deeply committed to the modernization of the countries where they operate, and founded by entrepreneur Ricardo Salinas, announced today that during 2018 its companies effectively competed in the retail, financial, media and telecommunications sectors with goods and services that improve the quality of life of the society. Grupo Salinas’ companies operate in Mexico, the United States, Central and South America.

Grupo Elektra continued with its solid dynamism, which is reflected in 10% consolidated revenue growth for the first nine months of the year.

Banco Azteca was decisive in this positive performance, with world-class financial services that promote financial inclusion, as it serviced more than 14 million deposit accounts in Mexico —which can be opened for as little as one peso, without commissions— a significant figure for a country with close to 32 million households. Bank deposits as of September 30, 2018 grew 16%, to $120,828 million pesos, while the loan portfolio increased 8%, to $77,465 million pesos, which supported the welfare and progress of thousands of families across the country.

Revenue from Grupo Elektra’s retail business grew 7% during the first nine months of 2018. This resulted from strategies that generate a superior shopping experience, with world-class merchandise and optimal customer service, offered under the most competitive conditions. These strategies were additionally boosted by omnichannel operations through www.elektra.com.mx, where thousands of products are sold at unparalleled prices, from any device and at any time.

Italika reinforced its commitment to provide safe, fuel efficient, and accessible transportation that significantly reduces travel times, selling more than 600,000 motorcycles in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Peru. This year's sales performance translated into a more than 60% market share in Mexico.

Meanwhile, TV Azteca continued with its solid trend in revenues, with double-digit growth in the first nine months of 2018, by consolidating itself within the top of audience preferences, with an emphasis on successful live entertainment programs. It also reduced its debt load during the period —which strengthens capital structure— and decreased exposure to foreign currency-denominated liabilities.

Totalplay, with the fastest internet service, continued to strengthen its position in the Mexican market.

To the important creation of economic value, Grupo Salinas added the generation of social value with progress in the wellbeing of its close to 90,000 employees in seven countries in the Americas.

In addition, Fundación Azteca, institution responsible for translating into actions the values of Grupo Salinas, boasted strong social and environmental achievements in 2018. Fundación Azteca organized five Movimiento Azteca fundraising and awareness events, where television campaigns promoted direct donation to NGOs with noble causes. The campaigns raised more than $100 million pesos to support programs ranging from the acquisition of 70 new Red Cross ambulances, to more than 11,000 mammogram screenings.

Esperanza Azteca, a program that since 2009 promotes values such as discipline, excellence and teamwork through music, integrated a network of 83 youth orchestras and choirs throughout the country, which benefits more than 17,000 low-income youths. One of the stellar performances for the year was held in Mexico City in conjunction with the Mariinsky Orchestra, under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

Through El Juguetón —the world’s largest toy drive— in 2018 more than 17 million toys were received and distributed to needy children on Three Kings’ Day. For the past 23 years, more than 220 million toys have been distributed, generating joy and smiles in a growing number of families.

Plantel Azteca provided quality technical middle and high school education with values for 2,100 outstanding, low-income students. In 21 years, more than 11,000 students have graduated from Plantel Azteca, promoting equal opportunities and improving lives through education. Recently, the Escuela de Talentos Azteca-Puebla was inaugurated, which geographically expands the solid educational model of Plantel Azteca, to support the talent and effort of young people from Puebla.

With the firm purpose of promoting science and technology among young innovators capable of solving many of the great challenges facing humanity, Ricardo Salinas, founding member of FIRST Global, hosted the 2018 FIRST Global Challenge. More than 1,000 youth from over 180 countries competed and cooperated to solve energy challenges with robots built by them, and simultaneously to work in an environment of healthy competition and to cooperate with other teams to learn to share knowledge.

Through these and many other programs, Grupo Salinas promoted the wellbeing of thousands of families in Mexico, the United States, Peru, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Kybernus, an initiative supported by Grupo Salinas to promote youth leadership and to generate favorable environments for a prosperous, inclusive and free country, currently has more than 2,000 participants in the 32 states of Mexico. In May, in order for the presidential candidates to hear proposals for public policies from the youth to build a better country, a dialogue was held between young people and the four candidates, who undertook to take into account these proposals in their government policies.

Grupo Salinas also sponsored the Ciudad de las Ideas 2018, festival of brilliant minds with the theme Burning Questions. This year’s event convened more than 60 international thinkers in the city of Puebla, where cutting-edge ideas on science, technology, human behavior, philosophy, sustainability, sociology, art and culture were presented to thousands of attendees.

The group also supported Caminos de la Libertad, which through essay contests, seminars, courses and presentations, provoked reflection on the value of freedom. In addition to the awards for outstanding essays, the Una Vida por la Libertad award was given to the jurist and writer Armando Ribas, defender of free trade and individual freedom.  

Arte & Cultura Grupo Salinas increased the diffusion of photographic collections by Ricardo Salinas through traveling exhibitions. Likewise, it continues to support projects for the preservation of craft traditions and design, sponsoring artistic activities, managing a self-cultural agenda and editing books and a digital magazine. Thus, the presence of Grupo Salinas in the cultural sphere is strengthened quantitatively and qualitatively daily.

Through the reforestation campaign Un Nuevo Bosque, 425,000 trees were planted in 448 hectares throughout the country, thanks to the generosity of 23,000 volunteers. In 16 years of reforestation, the program has convened 2.3 million people who have planted more than 6 million trees.

Additionally, the ninth edition of the nation's largest clean-up campaign, Limpiemos Nuestro México, was held this year, where 4.5 million people joined forces to pick up 22,000 tons of waste from streets, rivers, forests, parks and beaches throughout the country, generating awareness that littering is unacceptable. Since 2009, more than 9 million volunteers have collected 251,000 tons of waste.

Grupo Salinas companies develop processes that optimize the efficient use of resources and use energy that is friendly to the environment. The consumption of renewable energy in Grupo Salinas represented 37% of total consumption, and is expected to increase in coming years.

Grupo Salinas adds economic, social and environmental value since 1906, and has the firm goal to generate inclusive prosperity to promote the wellbeing and progress to millions of families in 2019.

About Grupo Salinas

Grupo Salinas (www.gruposalinas.com) is a group of dynamic, fast growing, and technologically advanced companies focused on creating: economic value through market innovation and goods and services that improve standards of living; social value, to create social capabilities to improve communities; and environmental value, by reducing the negative impact of business activities. 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; www.irtvazteca.com), Grupo Elektra (www.grupoelektra.com.mx), Banco Azteca (www.bancoazteca.com.mx), Advance America (www.advanceamerica.net), Afore Azteca (www.aforeazteca.com.mx), Seguros Azteca (www.segurosazteca.com.mx), Punto Casa de Bolsa (www.puntocasadebolsa.mx), Totalplay (www.totalplay.com.mx) and Totalplay Empresarial (http://totalplayempresarial.com.mx). TV Azteca and Grupo Elektra trade on the Mexican Stock Exchange and are part of its Sustainability Index. Each of the Grupo Salinas companies operates independently, with its own management, board of directors and shareholders. Grupo Salinas has no equity holdings. The group of companies share a common vision, values and strategies for achieving rapid growth, superior results and world-class performance.

Press Relations:

Luciano Pascoe, +52 (55) 1720 1313 ext. 36553, lpascoe@gruposalinas.com.mx
Daniel McCosh, +52 (55) 1720-0059, dmccosh@gruposalinas.com