San Miguel 9-mo profit jumps 61% to P19.2B

By Erik dela Cruz, Reuters

Posted at Nov 14 2012 04:32 PM | Updated as of Nov 15 2012 12:36 AM

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp., the Philippines' most diversified conglomerate, reported a 61% rise in nine-month profit, driven by an expanded business portfolio.

Net income rose to P19.2 billion ($467 million) in January-September from P11.9 billion a year ago, San Miguel said on Wednesday. The group's net sales climbed 29% to P509.2 billion.

San Miguel has diversified into power generation and distribution, oil refining, mining, telecoms, and infrastructure over the past four years to accelerate earnings growth after dominating the local market for food and beverage for decades.

In March, San Miguel's oil refining unit, Petron Corp., completed a $610 million acquisition of 65% of Esso Malaysia Bhd, 100% of ExxonMobil Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and 100% of ExxonMobil Borneo Sdn Bhd, boosting its oil refining capacity and giving it control of 560 retail stations.

In the following month, San Miguel bought stakes in Philippines Airlines and a sister carrier Air Philippines Corp. from Filipino billionaire and brewing rival Lucio Tan in a deal worth about $500 million.

Shares in San Miguel have dropped more than 6% this year against the 25% gain in the main stock index. The stock ended unchanged before the earnings announcement.