San Miguel Net Profit Down 76%

The company, one of the biggest in the Philippines, has recently begun investing in heavy industry including power and infrastructure.

Philippines food and beverage giant San Miguel Corp. said May 11 that first-quarter net profit was down 76% without the divestment gains that boosted earnings the previous year.

Company officials said net profit was 2.7 billion pesos (US$57.2 million), down from 11.04 billion pesos in the same quarter in 2008. The company had also divested itself of major assets in the first quarter of 2008, including part of its packaging business. It said that with those one-off items not included, first quarter 2009 net profit would have been up 25% year-on-year.

"The first quarter was very challenging for us but we delivered good results, which only proves that the group was geared up to face the challenges head on," Company president Ramon Ang said.

San Miguel, one of the biggest companies in the Philippines, has recently begun investing in heavy industry including power and infrastructure. In 2008 its net profits rose 124% from a year earlier to 19.3 billion pesos, mostly through asset sales.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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