SAN MIGUEL Food and Beverage, Inc. (SMFB) remains optimistic about its prospects for 2020, as it maintains smooth operations amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

SMFB Chief Finance Officer Ildefonso B. Alindogan told reporters yesterday the food and beverage arm of listed San Miguel Corp. (SMC) sees a healthy consumer demand despite worries of the virus.

“I think we’re still very positive about our prospects. The Filipino consumer is still very healthy. We have some noise lang in terms of the virus, some noise in terms of the markets. But I think from the medium-term to the long-term, the prospects of the business within SMFB is still very good,” he said.

He added the company is currently “okay” in terms of operations, but it is carefully studying the situation in case it worsens.

“I think things are proceeding smoothly from an operational standpoint,” Mr. Alindogan said. “(But) we’ll take any other procedures and steps that’s required for us to not have any disruption in our operations,” Mr. Alindogan said.

SMFB is a manufacturer of beer and non-alcoholic beverages, spirits, and food, through brands such as San Miguel Beer, Ginebra San Miguel, Magnolia and Purefoods.

It posted flat earnings of P22.92 billion as of September 2019, amid a 10% rise in revenues to P226.36 billion.

SMFB listed yesterday its P15-billion bonds at the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx), marking its maiden bond listing as a separate entity from SMC.

Mr. Alindogan said the offer gained strong support from investors, but this will be its last planned borrowing for the year.

“(Demand) was actually very good. We had very good demand from retail investors as well as quality institution investors. So we were able to price it very tight,” he said. “But in terms of SMFB, we’re done for the year from the capital markets perspective.”

Proceeds from the issuance will be used to repay the company’s preferred shares that are maturing on Mar. 12. SMFB is expecting to net around P14.81 billion from the offer.

The company’s bond listing is the 10th in PDEx for 2020, bringing the total value of new listings this year to P93.54 billion.

Shares in SMFB at the stock exchange fell P1.50 or 2.19% to P67 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez