Century Tuna maker’s earnings jump 9% on higher branded sales

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EARNINGS of Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) grew by nine percent in 2018, driven by strong sales from its branded food products.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed firm said consolidated and unaudited earnings stood at P2.8 billion last year. This followed a 15% increase in consolidated revenues to P39.7 billion.

Branded products accounted for 75% of the company’s revenues or P29.8 billion, 20% higher year on year. CNPF’s brands include Century Tuna, Argentina, 555, Angel, and Birch Tree. CNPF’s original equipment manufacturer (OEM) unit contributed the remaining 25% of revenues or P9.9 billion. The growth for the unit was much slower at four percent as the company raised prices for its tuna and coconut products.

“Despite some headwinds last year in consumer sentiment due to inflation, demand for our products remained robust — exhibiting even faster-than-expected growth,” CNPF Chief Finance Officer Oscar A. Pobre said in a statement.

Mr. Pobre said they also implemented initiatives to improve distribution and availability, especially in Visayas and Mindanao in order to boost its performance in the provincial areas.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) went up 14% to P4.5 billion, translating to an EBITDA margin of 11.4%, 10 basis points lower from a year ago.

The company attributed the flat margin growth to pressure from rising raw materials and packaging costs. It also added how logistic costs rose in 2018 due to higher fuel prices and faster growth in far-flung areas.

“We are tagging 2019 as our year of innovation with the introduction of a number of new products in our pursuit of long-term and sustainable growth. We will also continue investing in our people, brands, facilities, and supply chain, alongside an enterprise-wide initiative to monitor and measure environment, social, and governance metrics as well,” Mr. Pobre said.

Shares in CNPF slipped 1.13% or 18 centavos to close at P15.70 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia