Strong peso hits Gokongwei-led URC as profits fall 3%


Posted at Feb 14 2013 12:48 PM | Updated as of Feb 14 2013 08:48 PM

Strong peso hits Gokongwei-led URC as profit falls 3%

MANILA, Philippines - Universal Robina Corp. saw its net income fall by 2.8% to P2.295 billion in October to December last year from P2.362 billion due to foreign exchange losses amid a strong peso.

"Though operating income increased significantly, the slight decline in net income was due to unrealized forex losses as a result of the continued appreciation of the local currency," URC said in a disclosure on Thursday.

Sales of the Gokongwei's food manufacturing unit went up 11.8% to P20.098 billion in the three months to December, considered the first quarter of its fiscal year 2013. This brought operating income to P2.34 billion, 19.5% more than the P1.958 billion recorded in the previous year.

"The increase comes on the back of significant contribution from the branded foods business due to better volumes and continued decline of input prices, and the increased income for the sugar division which was also due to higher volumes," URC said.

Last month, URC Chairman James Go said the company, which is known for snacks Chippy and Piattos, and beverage C2, may start selling excess power to the national grid next year.

The firm's shareholders in January already approved URC's entry into power generation and this will be done through producing electricity using the by-product of its sugar business.