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RFM income up 6% in 2018

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EARNINGS of RFM Corp. grew by six percent in 2018, driven by strong sales for its ice cream, pasta, and milk products.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the listed food and beverage firm said preliminary and unaudited financials show that it booked a net income of about P1.1 billion in 2018, higher than the P1.04 billion net income it generated in the same period a year ago.

This followed an estimated P14.3 billion in sales, 12% higher year-on-year.

“We are very positive on the continued growth of our topline and bottomline this 2019, especially as we head into election season and as we continue to see brisk economic activity and moderating inflation,” RFM President and Chief Executive Officer Jose Ma. A. Concepcion III said in a statement.

RFM’s flagship brands include Selecta for ice cream and milk, Fiesta and Royal for pasta, and White King for mixes.

The company is banking on the Philippine economy’s growth to further support its expansion, as interest rates are now softening alongside the stronger peso. Mr. Concepcion also said that public and private sectors’ initiatives will likely result in better spending power from consumers.

At the same time, the company’s board of directors also approved a cash dividend of P280 million, equivalent to 8.05 centavos per share for shareholders as of Feb. 14. The dividends will be paid out on March 13.

This is the first of two tranches of cash dividend declarations the company will pay out, as per its 50% annual cash dividend policy based on recurring net income.

Last month, RFM secured approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission for its merger with three subsidiaries, namely Cabuyao Logistics Industrial Corp., Interbake Commissary Corp., and Invest Asia Corp.

The Concepcion-led company will issue 150.62 million shares for the transaction, 29.84 million of which will go to Cabuyao Logistics, 17.77 million for Interbake Commissary, and 103.01 million for Invest Asia.

RFM expects the integration to result to better efficiency in overall operations and lesser administrative expenses.

“The consolidation of assets of the four corporations will allow the procurement of financing and credit facilities under more favorable terms. The merger will make possible the more productive use of the properties of the constituent corporations,” the company said in an earlier disclosure.

Incorporate in 1957, RFM also engages in non-food businesses, including barging services and leasing of commercial or office spaces for its operating divisions.

Shares in RFM were unchanged at P4.80 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia