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Asia300

San Miguel Q1 profit rises 13% amid higher excise taxes

Sales at food-to-infrastructure group surge 20%, driven by beer and fuel

San Miguel Foods and Beverage's net sale rose 12% to 29.8 billion pesos on strong sales of poultry products.   © Reuters

MANILA -- San Miguel, the Philippines' largest company by sales, on Thursday reported a 13% rise in first quarter net profit to 15.6 billion pesos ($300.2 million), as net sales rose 20% to 243.4 billion pesos.

Net sales from its Petron fuel refinery and retailing arm, the chief revenue driver, rose 21% to 129.1 billion pesos. However, volume was flat at 26.6 million barrels amid higher global oil prices and a new excise tax.

The Philippine government introduced a tax reform this year which includes a new excise tax on fuel and car purchases. The policy led to multi-year high inflation and weakened consumption during the first quarter.

Other businesses appeared to have defied the slowdown in consumption.

Net sales at San Miguel Brewery, which makes the eponymous beer, jumped 18% to 29.8 billion pesos on aggressive marketing and promotions, which helped volumes rise by 11%.

San Miguel Foods and Beverage's net sale rose 12% to 29.8 billion pesos on strong sales of poultry products.

Its new businesses outside the traditional food and beverage sectors also reported sales growth. Net sales at San Miguel's power unit rose 27% to 24.7 billion pesos, while net sales at its infrastructure arm, which runs tollways in the country's main Luzon island, went up 11% to 5.9 billion pesos.

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