URC posts 3% growth in 1st quarter bottom line
Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corp. improved first quarter net profit by 3 percent year-on-year to P3.1 billion as the domestic coffee business pivoted back to growth after a three-year slump while overall operating margins firmed up.
URC posted net sales of P33.3 billion, up 7 percent from year-ago level, driven by its businesses in the Philippines.
Operating income, excluding hogs market valuation, grew by 10 percent to P4 billion in the first three months, with margins improving by 32 basis points from last year. This was attributed to higher sales volumes and average selling prices.
Lower foreign exchange gain and higher finance cost tempered URC’s net earnings in the period.
Sales of domestic and international branded consumer foods grew by 5 percent versus same period last year, amounting to P25.7 billion. Domestic revenues for the quarter increased by 11 percent amounting to P15.6 billion driven by the good performance of all categories and especially with the rebound in the coffee business after a three-year decline.
International sales declined by 3 percent year-on-year in peso terms to P10.2 billion due to an 8- to 10-percent foreign exchange devaluation in Australia and New Zealand. International operating income grew by 5 percent versus last year as margins expanded despite weaker currencies.
The industrial businesses posted a 16-percent increase in three-month sales to P7.2 billion, while operating income rose by 17 percent to P1.4 billion. Agro-industrial sales jumped by 21 percent, driven mainly by higher feeds sales.
The commodities division grew by 13 percent. —DORIS
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