Gokongwei's URC eyes production of pharma grade alcohol in virus fight


Posted at Jul 20 2020 10:50 AM

Gokongwei's URC eyes production of pharma grade alcohol in virus fight 1

MANILA -- Consumer snacks and beverage giant Universal Robina Corp (URC) on Monday said, it was eyeing the production of pharmaceutical grade rubbing alcohol to aid in the fight against the coronavirus.

URC seeks to amend its article of incorporation "to engage in the business of producing and manufacturing pharmaceutical grade alcohol and other similar products..." it said in a disclosure to the stock exchange, adding it will "leverage" its sugar distillery facilities for this purpose.

URC under its Sugar and Renewables group operates five mills and three refineries across the Philippines, with a combined milling capacity of 31,000 tons of sugar cane, according to its website. Its distillery division meanwhile, produces "fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol" suitable for gasoline blending.

URC said its sales and operating income in the first quarter were steady from a year ago despite disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, but net income declined due to foreign exchange losses. 

URC said in the first three months of the year, its net sales came in at P33.5 billion, while its operating income came in at P4 billion, both up slightly by 0.4 percent versus the same period last year. 

Net income, meanwhile, declined 32 percent “due mainly to non-operating foreign exchange losses on balance sheet items,” the company said.