CENTURY PACIFIC FOOD, Inc. signed $12.57-million worth of new deals with four Russian food firms to export its tuna, sardine and coconut milk products to the country.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, the company said it signed separate memoranda of understanding with food retailer Magnit Food Retail Chain, dairy supplier Dalimo and canned seafood distributor LLC Dalpromryba to supply tuna and sardine products to the companies. It also signed a deal with agriculture crop manufacturer Panasia Impex Co. Ltd. for its coconut milk products.

“Russia is an attractive market for us because of its large, increasingly affluent, and highly educated population,” CNPF Chief Operating Officer Gregory Francis H. Banzon was quoted as saying in the statement.

“The supply agreements will help us build a global consumer base for our flagship brand Century Tuna, which is already gaining traction abroad, and grow as well our emerging coconut milk business,” he added.

The deals made with the Russian companies were among the business agreements made when President Rodrigo R. Duterte visited the country earlier this month.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said having such agreements made during the presidential visit is proof of the government’s support for tuna producers to expand its foreign market.

“The trip of the President was very productive, and these agreements were one of many that will benefit Philippine business interests, especially those that are based in Mindanao,” he was quoted in the statement as saying.

The country is currently the top exporter of tuna in Spain, Germany and Britain, with annual tuna exports reaching 171,452 metric tons worth $492 million.

Century Pacific posted a net income of P1.71 billion in the first six months of the year, 8.78% higher from in the same period last year, as revenues increased 5.77% to P19.61 billion due to the high demand for its food products Century Tuna, 555 and Birch Tree. — Denise A. Valdez