FOOD manufacturer Century Pacific Food, Inc. reported on Wednesday that its unaudited net income increased by 20% to P4.7 billion in 2021 due to robust topline performance and favorable income tax rates.

“Demand for consumer staples remained resilient in 2021. Consumers are feeling the strain from this prolonged pandemic, leading them to prioritize spending and predisposing them to gravitate towards essentials and value for money brands,”  Century Pacific Chief Finance Officer Richard S. Manapat said in a statement.

“As a company focused on providing affordable food options, Century was able to cater to their needs, which in turn led to market share gains for our brands,” he added.

Mr. Manapat said that the company was able to keep a strong momentum in 2021 due to healthy operational performance and favorable tax rates from the implementation of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act, which allowed them to reinvest in growth and sustainability programs.

In the fourth quarter, sales increased by 18%, while earnings grew by 14%.

Unaudited consolidated revenues last year grew 13% to P54.7 billion, driven by its tuna and coconut export sales and the strong performance of its branded segment, composed of marine, meat, milk and other emerging businesses.

Exports increased by 29% year on year while the branded segment posted P42.8 billion in revenues or up 10%, which comes after the extraordinary results in 2020 due pandemic-related spikes in demand.

Earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) grew by 10%, resulting in an EBITDA margin of 13.%.

Meanwhile, gross margin dipped by 1.4 percentage points due to the general rise in input prices globally.

In 2021, the company introduced its plant-based alternatives brand unMEAT to retail channels, followed by its international rollout in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and China.

The food maker also entered the pet food category with the launch of its own branded product line Goodest, and expanded its milk portfolio by introducing new brand Choco Hero.

In December, the company acquired the Ligo brand, known for its canned sardines and other marine products. The deal is expected to close within the first half of the year.

All of its brands using flexible packaging are now certified plastic-neutral.  The company also completed the commissioning of a 5.2-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in June.

“We’ve been graced with two consecutive years of extraordinary performance, receiving our fair share of silver linings along the way. Despite operating in a hectic and stressful environment, the company has demonstrated resilience largely due to the essentials and staples nature of our portfolio,” Executive Chairman Christopher T. Po said.

In 2022, the company reported first-quarter revenue growth at a high single-digit, driven by the branded segment, which grew by double digits year on year. It did not disclose exact figures.

“2022 is shaping up to be another challenging year with pandemic disruptions and geopolitical events resulting in a high-inflation environment. We continued to see strong revenue growth in the first quarter but significant uncertainty lies ahead. We will continue to play the long game and invest in the business. At the same time, our team has plans in place to mitigate the new risks that emerged and still aim to deliver decent business results,” Mr. Po added.

At the stock exchange, Century Pacific shares fell by 0.21% or P0.05 to P24 apiece. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson