LT GROUP, Inc.’s (LTG) attributable profit rose by 3% in the first half of 2019, driven by higher earnings from its tobacco business.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the holding firm of tycoon Lucio C. Tan, Sr. said net income attributable to the parent reached P9.24 billion in the six months ending June, against P8.96 billion in the same period a year ago.

The tobacco business, which accounted for 63% of attributable profit, saw earnings rise by 20% to P5.87 billion. This came on the back of a 20% increase in its share in net earnings from PMFTC, Inc. to P5.65 billion. LTG holds a 49.6% stake in PMFTC.

“The improvement in earnings is largely attributed to the volume mix in favor of premium Marlboro, as well as the price increase of Fortune in December 2018,” the company said.

Philippine National Bank, which generated 24% of LTG’s attributable income, reported a 27% decline in earnings to P4.05 billion due to lack of gains from the sale of real and other properties. Core income surged 52% to P3.98 billion.

Tanduay Distillers, Inc. delivered a net income of P380 million, 13% lower year on year, as higher operating expenses offset the 2% increase in revenues for the period.

Property unit Eton Properties Philippines, Inc. benefited from higher sales of residential units and more retail spaces up for lease, leading to a 15% increase in revenues. Net income accordingly grew 75% to P371 million during the January to June period.

Eton Properties’ projects include Eton Square Ortigas in San Juan City which was completed in the first half. Eton Square Ortigas, which has 2,062 square meters in gross leasable area, is now fully leased out.

Meanwhile, Asia Brewery, Inc. increased its net income by 12% to P244 million following a 10% uptick in revenues. The company sold more energy drinks under the Cobra brand, bottled water under Absolute and Summit, and soy milk under Vitamilk for the period.

Shares in LTG climbed 1.41% or 20 centavos to close at P14.40 each at the stock exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia