Friday, 27 March 2009

Philippines' San Miguel 2008 net profit up 124%

11 hours ago

MANILA (AFP) — San Miguel Corp., one of the Philippines' largest companies, said Thursday that net profits rose 124 percent from a year earlier to 19.3 billion pesos (400.5 million dollars) in 2008, mostly through asset sales amid flat demand.

The group, known for its beer but which is rapidly diversifying into heavy industries, said net profit excluding "non-recurring gains on sale of investments and properties" rose 4.0 percent to 7.22 billion pesos.

Sales grew 14 percent to 168 billion pesos.

San Miguel president Ramon Ang said "a combination of operating leverage and tighter reining in on costs" allowed the company to grow its profits amidst difficult market conditions.

It said the economic downturn had affected volumes in its beer business in China, with Hong Kong volumes rising a mere five percent.

The Vietnam brewery also suffered a volume decline while brewing operations in Indonesia and Thailand grew robustly in contrast.

Its majority-owned domestic brewing business, San Miguel Brewery Inc., saw a 25 percent rise in net profit to 10 billion pesos, with sales up 11 percent to 48.79 billion pesos.

Hard liquor unit Ginebra San Miguel suffered a 291 million-peso net loss.
San Miguel said poultry operations remained healthy with 15 percent revenue growth to 48.81 billion pesos, while its milling, dairy, oils and fats segments were affected by a "rise in raw materials costs."

Ang said: "It's been a significant year in the continuing strategic evolution of San Miguel Corporation with our company entering the power, energy and telecommunications sectors."

In the past year San Miguel has agreed to sell a 43.25 percent stake in its domestic brewing business to Japan brewer Kirin and signed a deal to acquire a 50.1 percent stake in top refiner Petron Corp. from London-based Ashmore Group.

It also struck a deal with Qatar Telecom to go into the telecommunications business in the Philippines and acquired a 27 percent stake in top Philippines power distributor Manila Electric Co.

Copyright © 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

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