San Miguel Q2 net up 50%, as economy's growth lifts demand

Reuters

Posted at Aug 13 2012 04:06 PM | Updated as of Aug 14 2012 02:00 AM

Q2 net profit P5.6 billion

MANILA - Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp posted a more than 50 percent rise in second-quarter net income, driven by earnings from its energy businesses as demand grew on the back of strong domestic growth, and as new acquisitions contributed.

The results from Philippines' largest beverage, food and packaging company, whose revenues make up about 5 percent of the country's $200 billion gross domestic product, reflect a domestic economy that has been resilient despite weakening global demand hurting the country's exports.

The Philippine economy grew at an annual pace of 6.4 percent in the first quarter, powered by government spending and domestic demand. In a Reuters interview in July, Philippine President Benigno Aquino said second-quarter growth may be even faster.

San Miguel, which started operations in 1890 making beer, has capitalised on that growth by diversifying into power, telecommunications and infrastructure sectors. It now has a portfolio of more than 400 products.

In April it bought shares worth $500 million in flag carrier Philippine Airlines and a sister airline, adding to a string of acquisitions and investments worth more than $5 billion over the past four years.

It posted a net profit of P5.6 billion for April-June compared to the previous period's P3.7 billion, according to Reuters' calculations from its first-half results.

There were no quarterly profit estimates available but analysts expect San Miguel to post a 65 percent rise in net income to P19.3 billion this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

REVENUE FORECAST

San Miguel recently forecast 2013 revenue to climb to $24 billion from a projected $20 billion this year and has said it might make more acquisitions in the near term.

The conglomerate's flagship firm, San Miguel Brewery, part-owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings, had net sales of P37 billion in the first half, up 4 percent from the previous year. The company did not provide net profit details.

San Miguel also launched on Monday its offer of up to 1.067 billion preferred shares at P75 per share, the biggest-ever share sale by a local firm.

The company seeks to raise as much as P80 billion from the primary offer to refinance costly preferred shares worth P72.8 billion issued in 2009.

Shares in San Miguel, which has a market value of around $6.4 billion, the country's seventh biggest, fell 0.8 percent on Monday in a broad market that was up 0.2 percent. The shares have fallen about 4 percent this year, underperforming the broader market's 20 percent gain.