LISTED diversified firm Pryce Corp. said on Tuesday its net income in the first quarter of 2017 rose 53.6 percent to P301.7 million from P196.4 million a year earlier on the back of strong sales of cooking gas.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the company said consolidated revenues grew 52.3 percent from a year ago on higher sales volume of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and the significant number of new LPG cylinders sold under the PryceGas brand of its subsidiary Pryce Gases, Inc. during the past year.
Year-on-year volume rose 22.1 percent to 49,560 metric tons in the first quarter from 40,583 MT last year.
However, contract prices (CP) of LPG also increased. From $408 per MT in December 2016, LPG contract prices rose to $477, $573, and $564 per MT in January, February, and March of 2017, respectively, the company said.
Its LPG business delivered P22.08 billion in sales, contributing 94 percent to the consolidated revenues, which increased by 57 percent from the P1.32 billion recorded in the same quarter last year.
Pryce Corp. said the industrial gas products segment contributed 4.6 percent of total revenues, while sales from the group’s real estate and pharmaceuticals businesses contributed 1.15 percent and 0.33 percent, respectively.
Hotel operations ceased to contribute to revenue starting in the first quarter of this year due to the closure of the Pryce Plaza Hotel on December 31, 2016.
Owing to the higher CP of LPG compared to same quarter of 2016, gross margin dipped to 23 percent in the first quarter from 25 percent a year earlier, while operating expenses were kept at 8.5 percent of revenues.
Pryce is a diversified company that operates 12 memorial parks in major cities in Mindanao and is also engaged in manufacturing, distributing and marketing industrial gases and LPG under Pryce Gases Inc. and Oro Oxygen Corp. It also trades pharmaceutical products through Pryce Pharmaceuticals Inc.