URC earnings decline 6% in third quarter

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UNIVERSAL Robina Corp. (URC) reported its earnings slipped during the third quarter due to the depreciation of the Philippine peso against the United States dollar.

The Gokongwei-led company’s net income attributable to equity holders of the parent dipped 6% to P1.87 billion during the three-month period. This was despite a 6% growth in its sales of goods and services to P32.74 billion.

Net foreign exchange loss rose 63% to P673.46 million in the three-month period, largely due to the depreciation of the Philippine peso and the local currencies of the company’s international subsidiaries against the US dollar.

In the nine months to September, URC’s attributable net income climbed 3% to P7 billion, as sales of goods and services jumped 6% to P99.78 billion.

The bulk of the company’s revenues continue to come from its branded consumer foods business, which grew 4% in the nine-month period to P79 billion.

Domestic revenues were 9% higher due to the double-digit growth of its coffee brand Great Taste, noodle brands Nissin and Payless, junk food brand Jack n’ Jill and beverage brand C2. Joint ventures in Danone and Vitasoy also fueled the increase. However, international revenues fell 3% due to the adverse foreign exchange translation.

The agro-industrial & commodities business group added P20.8 billion in revenues to rise 9% from last year. The increase in the agro-industrial side came from the growth in sales of animal feeds and pet foods, and in the commodities side, from the 17% increase in flour sales to offset the 5% decline in sugar and renewables.

“We are pleased that the benefits of our transformation initiatives continue to manifest in our results. A more responsive supply chain, stronger partnerships with distributors and retailers, and product portfolio improvements are driving robust growth across our different categories,” URC President and Chief Executive Officer Irwin C. Lee said in the statement.

“We are ahead of our internal targets; and therefore, we plan to further reinvest in brand building and distribution expansion to finish the year strong,” he added.

URC is one of the core units of Gokongwei-led JG Summit Holdings, Inc. Its business interests span real estate and hotel, air transportation, petrochemicals and banking. — Denise A. Valdez