• URC nets P2.9 billion in 1Q of fiscal year

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    The Gokongwei-led food and beverage firm Universal Robina Corp. (URC) saw a significant increase in its net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, on the back of sales improvement.

    The fiscal year that URC follows begins in October 2013 and ends September 2014.

    In its financial report disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, it was reported that URC’s net income for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 reached P2.9 billion, for a 25.9-percent increase compared to the same period of the prior year.

    This growth, however, was slower than its operating income as URC booked lower market valuation gains and net finance revenue, given that it liquidated most of its bond and equity holdings last year.

    URC’s operating income was at P3.3 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014. This is 42 percent higher than the P2.4 billion the company posted in the prior year, as relaxed input prices and higher sales volume resulted in margin expansion for its branded foods.

    As for the company’s sales, which were believed to have somehow driven the company’s income, URC said it recorded 13.1-percent sales growth, with net sales amounting to P22.7 billion.

    URC’s Philippine branded consumer foods (BCF) business was also one of the key drivers for total growth of the company, as it increased sales by 28.1 percent, while international branded consumer foods recorded a 9.1-percent growth.

    Sales of the listed company’s nonbranded consumer foods group, however, declined by 12.7 percent for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, because of the decrease in sales volumes for sugar and feeds.

    “Our nonbranded consumer foods business, commodity foods group and agro-industrial group, posted revenues of P3.866 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014, a drop of 12.7 percent against last year.

    This is mainly due to the 25.3-percent decline in revenues for the commodity foods group, with sales for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 of P1.8 billion,” URC told the local bourse. Overall, the company’s balance sheet remained healthy with strong cash levels.

    As of the first quarter, URC was in a net cash position of P9.9 billion with a financial gearing ratio of 0.11 (vs. 0.09 in fiscal year 2013), as the company settled a significant portion of its debt.

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