CANNED food manufacturer Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) recorded a 31% jump in net income in the first quarter due to a surge in local demand brought by the government’s quarantine measures in late March.

The listed company told the stock exchange yesterday its net income in the first three months stood at P1.04 billion, boosted by a 24% growth in consolidated revenues to P12.1 billion.

Its branded business comprised P10.1 billion of the revenues, higher by 31% from a year ago. The remainder are revenues from its commodity-linked export businesses which were flat as capacity focused on domestic operations.

“Growth was seen across all business units as majority of the company’s products are shelf-stable and consumed at home,” the company said.

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

“During these challenging times, we recognize the importance of making our products as accessible as possible nationwide,” CNPF Chief Finance Officer Oscar A. Pobre said in the statement.

He noted despite logistical and operational challenges, CNPF continues to operate its facilities round the clock to supply the growing demand.

The company also posted a 46% increase in operating expenses to P1.71 billion due to additional costs that went to employee assistance programs and implementation of health and safety procedures.

“There are still a lot of uncertainties as to what the balance of year will look like, including what the pandemic’s effects will be on the broader economy and consumer demand,” Mr. Pobre said.

“Nonetheless, employee welfare and product availability will remain our top priorities and we are taking the necessary steps — including hiring additional personnel, increasing our logistic capabilities, and ramping up safety and security in our facilities — to help address the requirements as best we can,” he added.

Shares in CNPF at the stock exchange traded flat on Thursday to close at P14.30 apiece. — Denise A. Valdez