• LT Group 2015 profit climbs 50% to P6.6B

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    LT Group Inc., the holding firm of tycoon Lucio Tan, said on Friday its net income last year surged by more than half on the back of solid performances by its banking and beverage businesses and the dramatic recovery of its tobacco unit.

    In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), LT Group said net income in 2015 amounted to P6.6 billion in 2015, up by 50 percent from the P4.4 billion realized the year before.

    Banking unit Philippine National Bank contributed P3.51 billion or 53 percent of total net profit realized while Asia Brewery Inc. contributed P1.1 billion or 17 percent, followed by the tobacco business which contributed P1.04 billion or 16 percent.

    Tanduay Distillers Inc. accounted for P422 million or 6 percent, while Eton Properties Philippines Inc. accounted for P312 million or 5 percent.

    Equity in net earnings from its stake in Victorias Milling Co. provided P214 million or 3 percent of the total. LTG’s stake in VMC increased to 30.17 percent from 22.59 percent at end-December after it purchased additional shares last month.

    PNB posted income of P6.8 billion in 2015, up 15 percent from the P5.9 billion registered in 2014. Net interest income grew 6 percent to P17.6 billion, while net service fees and commission income rose38 percent to P3.6 billion.

    On the other hand, the unaudited income of Asia Brewery dipped 2 percent to P1.09 billion.

    “Our Cobra energy drink, Absolute and Summit water, Tanduay Ice alcopop and Vitamilk soymilk continue to be market leaders. However, intense competition in the beverage market continues to affect volumes and margins,” LT Group said in a statement.

    The tobacco business achieved a seven-fold increase in net income to P1.04 billion in 2015 from the P148 million posted in 2014.

    Equity in net earnings from LTG’s 49.6 percent stake in PMFTC (Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp.) Inc. reached P975 million, up 89 percent from the P515 million realized in 2014.

    “While there has been some improvement, the illicit trade continues to affect the overall profitability of the cigarette business,” it said.

    Tanduay’s unaudited net income for 2015 reached P422 million, significantly higher than the P101 million it reported in 2014, while revenue was flat as lower volumes were offset by price increases.

    Citing Nielsen, the company said Tanduay’s market share improved to 24.1 percent as of the end of 2015 from 22 percent as of the end of 2014. The market share gain was from the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

    Meanwhile, Eton’s income for 2015 stood at P313 million, or more than double the P120 million posted in 2014, while revenues rose 9 percent on account of higher lease rates for new or renewed contracts in office buildings.

    Eton intends to increase its leasing portfolio by adding its fifth BPO office tower at Eton Centris in Quezon City.

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