UNIVERSAL Robina Corp. (URC), the food unit of the Gokongwei family, said its net income was flat last year to P3.1 billion, from the previous year’s P3.02 billion, driven mainly by its local business as international sales fall.
Revenues rose 7 percent to P33.31 billion, from the previous year’s P30.65 billion, with operating income, excluding hogs market valuation, growing by 10 percent to P 4 billion with margins improved by 32 basis points versus last year.
“This was driven by higher sales volumes and average selling prices,” the company said.
Sales of domestic and international branded consumer foods grew by a mere 5 percent versus the same period last year, to P25.7 billion.
Domestic revenues for the quarter rose 11 percent to P15.6 billion driven by the good performance of all categories, with coffee returning to growth after three years of decline.
Internationally, sales fell 3 percent in peso terms, amounting to P10.2 billion, driven by foreign exchange devaluation in Australia and New Zealand ranging from 8 percent to 10 percent.
International operating income grew 5 percent versus last year’s as margins expanded despite weaker currencies.
“While the environment continues to be very challenging, the transformation plans we have set in place have started to gain traction. The entire URC team is now heavily focused on execution with the aim of sustaining what we have achieved for the balance of the year and beyond. We also expect to hold or slightly improve our operating margins for the year,” said Irwin Lee, URC president and CEO.
Sales from its agro-industrial and commodities business grew 16 percent to P7.2 billion, while operating income increased P17 percent to P1.4 billion.
The agro-industrial sales grew 21 percent driven mainly by higher feeds sales, while the commodities division grew 13 percent with flour and pasta posting a 25-percent growth on higher volumes. Sugar and renewables achieved a 9-percent increase in revenues as a result of higher selling prices.
URC said it is formally adopting an environment, social and governance (ESG) program for the company, which includes reduction of energy consumption and carbon emission, and water usage by 30 percent.
“This transformation is in line with our vision for URC to become a preeminent sustainable enterprise. We will continue to deliver value for the business while, at the same time, do what is right for society. We believe we can continue to do well by doing good,” Lee said.