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Monday, May 12, 2014

Branded consumer food business lifts Universal Robina's Oct-Mar earnings

The maker of C2 tea drink and Jack 'N Jill snack food registered a double-digit expansion in its profit in the first half of its 2014 fiscal year driven by its local branded consumer food business.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Universal Robina Corp (URC) said its earnings hit P6.22 billion in the October to March period, up 14.4 percent from P5.44 billion in the same six-month period in a year ago. URC's fiscal year ends in November of every year.

In its second quarter starting January, the Gokongwei-owned firm's net income rose six percent to P3.33 billion from P3.15 billion in the same three-month period the year before.

Earnings growth in the first semester was slower than the 42.2 percent jump in operating income in the same six-month period due to market valuation loss and decrease in net finance revenue after URC disposed all bond investments and a significant portion of equity investments last year.

During the six-month period, URC benefited from the tailwind of relaxed input prices, higher sales volume and increasing scale, which resulted in margin expansion of 310 basis points year-on-year.

Net sales advanced 13.87 percent to P23.04 billion in the second quarter, pushing the first-half figure by 13.5 percent to P45.74 billion from P40.32 billion in 2013.

Sales of the branded consumer foods group, excluding the packaging division, increased by a fifth to P37.39 billion in the first half from P30.94 billion a year ago. The domestic business expanded by more than a quarter to P25.622 billion from P20.23 billion previously, driven by the growth across all segments led by the beverage division, which managed to expand by 42.2 percent.

New product launches in Thailand and a recovery in Vietnam pushed the branded consumer food group's international sales by nearly a tenth to P11.77 billion from P10.71 billion in 2013.

Sales of the non-branded consumer foods group declined by 10.3 percent, dragged by lower sugar volumes as production were affected by the delay of the milling season and unusually wet weather.

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