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FDC says focused on improving sugar unit productivity, cost efficiency

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FILINVEST Development Corp. said it is satisfied with the current operations of its sugar unit but does not see any ”immediate” need to scale up that business.

“We’re hoping we can get a decent profit there,” Jonathan T. Gotianun, the Filinvest Chairman told reporters after the listed firm’s annual meeting Friday.

The sugar farming and milling operations are under its Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp., Cotabato Sugar Central Co., Davao Sugar Central Co. Inc. and High Yield Sugar Farms Corp. Mr. Gotianun said the the companies last year produced some P2 billion worth of sugar on volume of 1 million tons.

Asked if the company is going to ad to the sugar business by venturing into bioethanol, Mr. Gotianun said: “Just like any business we have to do more. But I don’t see any immediate plan.”

He noted the large capital requirements for a bioethanol plant, adding that companies with scale in producing molasses, a type of feedstock for bioethanol, will have an advantage.

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“The focus is really to improve in managing cost and productivity,” he added, noting that the sugar unit remains a “good investment.”

Filinvest Development in 2017 booked a net profit of P10.3 billion, up 21%. Revenues rose 15% to P67.6 billion, with its banking and property arms contributing 42% and 40%, respectively.

Filinvest Development fell 0.26% to P7.60 on Friday. — Janina C. Lim

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