By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

LT Group, Inc. (LTG) generated a 22% attributable profit increase in the three months ending March, following a double-digit profit growth in its banking, tobacco, liquor, and real estate businesses.

The holding firm of tycoon Lucio Tan, Sr said in a statement Friday that net income attributable to the parent stood at P4.42 billion as of end-March, higher than the P3.63 billion it posted in the same period a year ago.

The tobacco business accounted for 64% of LTG’s total earnings, followed by the banking segment through Philippine National Bank (PNB) which contributed 24%. Contributions from Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TDI), Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI), and Victorias Milling Company, Inc. were at 5%, 3%, 2%, and 2%, respectively.

LTG’s equity in net earnings from its 49.6% stake in PMFTC, Inc. stood at P2.69 billion, 18% higher year on year. The company attributed this to improved volume mix and the price increases implemented last December.

The company however said that the passage of higher excise taxes on tobacco products may slow down volumes. It noted that the industry’s volume has declined by 33% to about 73 billion sticks in 2018 over the last six years.

For PNB, net income under the pooling method jumped 30% to P1.95 billion. The listed lender grew its assets by 21% to P1.03 trillion by end-March, against P854 billion from the same period a year ago.

TDI’s net income surged 73% to P234 million, on the back of a five percent increase in volume. Its bioethanol sales also improved during the period. The liquor manufacturer said its nationwide market share is now at 28.1%, against 26.1% in March last year.

Eton Properties also delivered a 54% jump in earnings to P149 million, as revenues increased by 11% thanks to higher leasing income and residential sales. The property unit’s recent projects include Eton Square Ortigas, a pocket retail development in Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City completed in 2018, that is now fully leased out.

The property developer also looks to complete the retail and office components of Eton WestEnd Square in Makati by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, ABI’s net income dropped by 45% to P82 million, despite a 13% increase in revenues to P3.86 billion.

“The lower income was largely due to higher PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging costs and as the Company spent more on advertising and promotions,” LT Group said.

Shares in LTG added 0.24% or four centavos to close at P16.92 each at the stock exchange on Friday.