San Miguel Q1 profit up 19%, fueled by power units

Posted at 05/11/2012 5:30 PM | Updated as of 05/11/2012 6:09 PM

MANILA - Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp said on Friday its net income climbed 19 percent in the first quarter from a year before, with strong contributions from its power-related subsidiaries. 

San Miguel, the dominant food and drinks maker for decades and now the country's most diversified conglomerate, added airlines to its portfolio of businesses last month.

It also expanded its regional reach via its $577 million purchase of Esso Malaysia Bhd last year. It expects to invest up to $1.2 billion to upgrade and expand the oil refiner's facilities.

The company said in a statement on Friday it had net income of P8.5 billion ($200 million) in January to March against P7.1 billion the previous year.   

Analysts expect San Miguel, one of the country's biggest listed firms with a market cap of over $6 billion, to post a 65 percent rise in net income to P19.3 billion this year, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, with recent acquisitions helping boost its bottom line. 

The group's net sales climbed 12 percent to P142 billion.

Its flagship firm, San Miguel Brewery, part-owned by Japan's Kirin Holdings, had net sales of P18.3 billion in the first three months, up 5 percent from the previous year, although it suffered from a 4 percent decline in sales volume, the company said.  

San Miguel shares edged down 0.3 percent on Friday, in line with the broader market. The stock has fallen about 2 percent this year, underperforming the market's 19 percent gain.