Century Pacific sees strong sales in 2023, eyes new markets for Unmeat
MANILA -The Po family’s Century Pacific Food, the maker of Century Tuna and Argentina corned beef, is bullish on delivering robust full-year net income and sales growth as inflationary pressures are seen easing in the second half of 2023.
“Uncertainties still remain. Nonetheless, management is working towards double-digit growth for our topline, supported by a resilient demand,” Century Pacific executive chair Christopher Po told shareholders during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Thursday.
“Profits are on their way to improving as cost pressures ease, thus, for the year, we expect to deliver a mid to high single-digit improvement in our bottom line,” he added.
The company earlier raised its cash dividend payout by 11 percent to P0.40 this year or a payout ratio of 28.3 percent.
Po said this reflected their “priorities to balance investing in long-term growth and providing our shareholders a healthy return on your capital.”
In a press conference later in the day, Po said the impact of still-elevated costs would be tempered by strong consumer demand amid continued signs of cooling inflation.
The company also expects to sustain the growth momentum of alternative meat brand, Unmeat, by entering new markets.
“Because of the early success that we are seeing in the [United States] we’re scoping other opportunities,” Century Pacific chief operating officer Gregory H. Banzon said during the media briefing.
The company recently signed distribution agreements to enter Singapore and Australia, he said.
“Europe looks very attractive but we’re doing due diligence if we can achieve the same level of success as we had in the US,” he added.
Century Pacific, meanwhile, named new additions to its board of directors.
Elected on July 6 were lawyer Regina Jacinto-Barrientos, who co-founded Puyat Jacinto Santos Law; veteran global investment banker Stephen CuUnjieng as independent director; and former Cargill Philippines chair Philip Soliven as independent director.