BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Latin America last year provided strong growth for U.S. and European multinationals, ranging from motorcycle producer Harley-Davidson to cellphone maker Nokia and oilfield services provider Schlumberger.
However, in many cases the fourth quarter represented a marked slowdown, if not outright decline. That was the case with Nokia, for example.
Here are the key data for key companies released this week:
U.S.-based United Airlines (UAL) posted a 7.1 percent decline in fourth quarter passenger revenues in Latin America to $127 million, it said in its earnings statement. Despite the fall, it was the second-best result worldwide.
U.S.-based American Airlines did not release exact revenue figures for Latin America, but its earnings statement said the carrier's revenue per available seat mile (RASM) in the region was 12.47 cents last year, an increase of 12.2 percent and the highest worldwide.
U.S.-based Schlumberger boosted Latin America revenues by 28 percent last year, it said in a statement. Fourth quarter revenues grew by 18 percent, while pretax operating income fell by 4 percent.
, which manufactures farm and construction equipment., boosted Latin America sales last year by 41 percent to $2.5 billion, it said in a statement. That was its strongest performance worldwide.
U.S.-based Harley-Davidson did not provide revenue figures for Latin America, but reported that unit sales there reached 8,037 last year - an increase of 47 percent from 2007.
U.S.-based chemical maker H.B. Fuller's Latin America sales grew by 4.3 percent to $224.3 million in its fiscal 2008 year, which ended in November. In the 13 weeks ending in November, sales fell by 51.7 percent, it said in a statement.
Finland-based Nokia, the world's largest wireless phone manufacturer, did not release Latin America revenue figures, but announced that volume sales grew by 24.7 percent last year to 51.5 million units, the company said in a statement
. However, that included a 0.7 percent decline in the fourth quarter. In both cases, that was the best performance any where worldwide.
Argentina-based MercadoLibre, the largest e-commerce site in Latin America, boosted gross merchandise volume by 38 percent last year to $2.1 billion, it said in a statement. In the fourth quarter sales grew 14 percent.
Sweden-based telecom equipment maker Ericsson boosted Latin America sales by 25 percent last year to 23 billion Swedish kronor (US$4.2 billion), while fourth quarter sales grew by 16 percent, the company said in a statement. The 2008 growth was the company's second-best performance worldwide after North America.
U.S.-based Digi International boosted Latin America revenues by 37.5 percent to $1.1 million in its fiscal first quarter 2009, it said in a statement.
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