San Miguel Doubles Net, Helped by Food Units, Telecom Sale

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  • Sale of wireless assets brings 11.8 billion peso one-time gain
  • Company cites better refining margins at its oil business

San Miguel Corp., the Philippines’ largest company, more than doubled profit in the first half, boosted by higher sales at its food units and a windfall from the sale of its telecommunication assets.

Net income rose to 35.3 billion pesos ($755 million) in the six months ended June, 107 percent more than a year earlier, the company said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. Net sales fell 1 percent to 329.2 billion pesos, according to a presentation posted on the company’s website. It didn’t provide second-quarter figures or a full-year forecast.

San Miguel agreed on May 30 to sell its telecommunication business to PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc. for about 70 billion pesos, including debt, ending its telecommunication ambitions. The sale resulted in a one-time gain of 11.8 billion pesos, the company said. The company also traced its solid first-half performance to better refining margins at its oil unit and higher returns from its power and infrastructure businesses.

Fuel and oil accounted for 49 percent of San Miguel’s sales in in the first half, compared with 56 percent a year ago. Food and drinks accounted for more than 35 percent, while power generation was 12 percent. In 2008, food and drinks were about 90 percent of sales.

First-half net income at unit Petron Corp., the nation’s largest oil company, rose 55 percent to 5.28 billion pesos. San Miguel Pure Foods’ first-half profit surged 37 percent to 2.5 billion pesos, while San Miguel Brewery Inc.’s net income rose 20 percent to 8.25 billion pesos.