San Miguel sees H1 profit up, more energy investments

Reuters

Posted at Jul 28 2011 12:16 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2011 08:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp. said on Thursday its first half profit was likely better than last year and it was looking at energy-related investments in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly coal mines and natural gas.

The company confirmed local newspaper reports on Thursday saying it was looking at investment opportunities in Indonesia and Australia.

The reports also quoted San Miguel president Ramon Ang as saying the food-to-power group's profits in the first half may have grown by double digits across all its business units.

Ang's statements on the contemplated investments in energy-related projects in the region and "the expected increase in profits compared to last year are accurate," San Miguel told the stock exchange.

"We really want to have investments particularly in Indonesia and Australia. These countries are rich in coal and natural resources," Ang was quoted as saying. He did not provide details.

San Miguel is the largest power producer on the main Philippine island of Luzon, accounting for nearly 30% of installed capacity. It has plans to put up additional power capacity of 3,000 megawatt in five years.

The company is planning several equity issues this year to fund more energy and infrastructure investments, with its power unit SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. seeking to raise $500 million via an initial public offering.

San Miguel-controlled oil refiner Petron Corp. is also eyeing a follow-on share offer.

San Miguel shares fell 0.4% while Petron was steady in late trade, in a broader market that was largely flat.