By Denise A. Valdez, Senior Reporter

CENTURY Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF) is expecting a 20% increase in profits for 2020 as it continues to record double-digit growth in the third quarter on sustained demand for its meat and milk products.

It is also expecting to sustain the double-digit growth until 2021, due to the increased relevance of its products during the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a statement to the stock exchange on Tuesday, the company told BusinessWorld it booked P1 billion net income in the July-to-September period, up 15% from a year ago.

The company attributed it to the 16% revenue growth of its branded segment, which made up 81% of its P11.7-billion revenues during the period.

On a year-to-date basis, the company’s earnings rose 26% to P3.3 billion, as revenues improved 21% to P36.8 billion.

“In spite of easing restrictions, we continued to see healthy growth in the third quarter due largely to the essentials and staples nature of our portfolio,” CNPF Chief Finance Officer Oscar A. Pobre said in the statement.

“As we enter the last few months of 2020, we are pleased to see continued double-digit growth, which should allow us to end the year with a north of 20% increase in earnings,” he added.

CNPF is the manufacturer of food brands such as Century Tuna, Argentina, 555, Angel and Birch Tree. Aside from its renowned brands, the company said it is also seeing increased demand for its coconut-based products.

“We are also now setting our sights on 2021, wherein healthy demand for our core branded products brought about by shifts in consumer behavior, alongside our aggressive pipeline of new product innovations, should allow us to grow again by double digits in spite of our high 2020 base,” Mr. Pobre said.

Included in this pipeline is the introduction of unMeat, a vegan plant-based brand that CNPF said will be the first in the Philippines.

“[O]ur type of products — a focus on the long term, alongside our proven track record in innovation, brand-building and distribution — will remain pillars of what we hope to be sustained growth, regardless of the macroeconomic conditions,” Mr. Pobre said.

CNPF shares closed at P16.84 apiece on Tuesday, higher by P1.32 or 8.51% from its last close.