URC income up 12%
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - October 25, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Universal Robina Corp. (URC), the Gokongwei-owned snack foods giant, posted a net income of P8.1 billion in the nine months to September, up 12 percent despite pandemic woes.

Sales grew by only two percent to P99.8 billion but the company reduced debt and interest expense and lowered foreign exchange losses.

URC president and CEO Irwin Lee said while the current environment continues to pose severe challenges to the business, the focus is on operational efficiency and excellence.

“Weaker consumer sentiment and slowing retail sales in the third quarter plus sluggish macroeconomic fundamentals, are weighing on a slower path to market recovery. Despite these challenges, we remain focused on operational excellence, business transformation, and investing in building stronger brands and innovation to fuel growth.  This focus is helping us perform ahead of market trends,” Lee said.

Despite these challenges, URC has gained significant market shares and performed ahead of the market.

URC’s operating income increased by eight percent to P11.9 billion on better cost management and favorable input prices, offsetting investments in brand building and close to P300 million of COVID-19 related expenses to safeguard people and support business continuity.

Sales of domestic and international branded consumer foods reached P77.4 billion, of which domestic revenue accounted for P46.5 billion or an increase of one percent.

International revenues, on the other hand, declined by seven percent to P30 billion.

Sales of agro-industrial and commodities businesses reached P22.3 billion, up nine percent versus last year.

The commodities foods group remained buoyant with a revenue growth increase of 25 percent as sugar and renewables grew 31 percent and flour was up by 11 percent.

However, these were offset by the agro-industrial group’s sales decline of seven percent due to lower volumes in hogs as it downsized operations.

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