Century Pacific boosts income target as canned food demand rises

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CANNED food manufacturer Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) is expecting to record a high-teens growth in its bottomline this year due to the increased demand for its products in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

CNPF Executive Chairman Christopher T. Po told stockholders in a meeting Tuesday the company continues to record heightened demand for its products several months into the pandemic.

“We anticipate ending the year surpassing our typical target of 10–15% growth. We are looking instead to deliver high-teens type of earnings growth, or better, this 2020,” Mr. Po said.

CNPF posted a 31% earnings jump in the first quarter to P1.04 billion due to the surge in local demand for its products with the imposition of a Luzon lockdown in March.

Panic buying as a result of the lockdown lifted the company’s consolidated revenues 24% to P12.1 billion, coming mostly from the 31% growth in revenues from its branded business.

Mr. Po said CNPF is targeting to double its business over the next five years, sustaining growth of 10-15% compounded annually in both top and bottomline.

He noted the company has recorded a 15% compounded annual growth rate from 2014 to 2019, doubling revenues to P40.6 billion from P20.4 billion and net income to P3.1 billion from P1.6 billion.

“We are entering both a new decade and a new five-year growth cycle well-positioned to sustain this positive momentum. And we, as a team, are highly motivated to continue delivering similar results,” Mr. Po said.

CNPF is setting a P2.1 billion budget for capital expenditures this year, which will be supported by internally generated funds. This will cover expansion plans such as in its meat facility in Laguna, which is scheduled to finish works by the first quarter of 2021.

“It is a unique feature of our business that we are able to do well in both good times as well as the more challenging ones. In good times, we are aiming to consistently grow two times (the country’s gross domestic product). But during more challenging periods, we can even outperform given the nature of our products,” Mr. Po said.

CNPF is the manufacturer of food brands such as Century Tuna, Argentina, 555, Angel and Birch Tree.

Shares in the company at the stock exchange ended Tuesday’s session up 10 centavos or 0.69% to P14.60 apiece. — Denise A. Valdez