MARKET HEADLINE: SHORT SELLING BY OCTOBER

Universal Robina Corporation
goodbye urc..
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durog to sa monday..nut
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boom panis..-5% buti nakalabas agad ako..
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...earnings report

URC attributable net income down in 3rd quarter

UNIVERSAL ROBINA Corp. (URC) reported a 39% drop in attributable profit for the third quarter of 2017, as the firm saw lower volumes and higher net finance costs in addition foreign exchange gains.

In a regulatory filing, the Gokongwei-led firm said it posted a net income attributable to the parent of P1.96 billion in the three months ended September 2017, lower than the P3.2 billion it generated in the same period in 2016.

The decline comes amid a 20% increase in the sale of goods and services to P31.62 billion during the period, primarily due to its core snacking business and joint ventures in Branded Consumer Foods (BCF) Philippines, BCF Thailand, Farms, and Snack Brands Australia (SBA). The company also noted a 16% increase in the non-branded consumer foods group.

“Profitability remained weak as the company faced a decline in volumes and a change in mix particularly on the coffee category of BCF Philippines, a slower than expected recovery in Vietnam, and an overall unfavorable forex and input cost inflation,” URC said.

This pulled the company’s nine-month attributable profit 21% lower to P8.21 billion. Revenues, meanwhile, still posted a 13% growth to P92.42 billion.

URC is a subsidiary of the Gokongwei group’s holding firm JG Summit Holdings, Inc. with interests in the food business through three segments, namely branded consumer foods, agro-industrial products, and commodity food products.

International operations of the BCF group offset the flat performance in the domestic market at P44.3 billion, from P43.69 billion in the same period a year ago. BCF overseas booked a 38.9% increase to P31.23 billion, pushed by double-digit growth in the United States and Thailand, and the consolidation of sales from SBA in Malaysia, which URC acquired back in October 2016.

Sales from URC’s packaging division was up by 20.5% to P992 million for the period, on the back of higher prices and volume.

Meanwhile, sales of the company’s agro-industrial segment saw an 8.9% uptick to P7.44 billion amid a positive performance in its feeds, and farms businesses.

Sales from the commodity foods segment on the other hand increased by 24.2% to P9.07 billion, fueled by the performance of its sugar business, which saw higher sales volume, coupled with the 18.2% climb of its renewable business. URC’s flour business was affected by softer market conditions, declining by 6.2% during the period.

URC further attributed the decline in earnings to unrealized net foreign exchange gains, which was down by 55.7% during the nine-month period to P768 million.

“(This is) due to the combined effects of depreciation of international subsidiaries’ local currencies and Philippine peso vis-a-vis US dollar,” the company said.

URC ended the first nine months of the year in a net debt position of P28.21 billion, coming from its long-term debt in Australia and New Zealand.


source: http://bworldonline.com/urc-attributable...d-quarter/
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...babawi daw  Tongue

URC eyes sugar tax, Vietnam rebound as keys to lift sagging growth

'We're in the right categories, primarily snacks and healthier products... that will resonate with the market especially as sugar taxes are imposed,' says URC president Lance Gokongwei

MANILA, Philippines – A proposed sugar tax which would hurt competitors and a new push for beverages in Vietnam are the key ingredients to a turnaround in the fortunes of Universal Robina Corporation (URC) heading into next year, according to president and chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei.

The food manufacturing giant, which consistently ranks as the biggest contributor to the bottom line of parent firm JG Summit Holdings Incorporated, has seen slowing growth as of late.

URC's net income dropped by 21.2% to P8.409 billion in the 1st 9 months of 2017, compared to the same period last year.

"The firm has not performed as well as we wanted over the last year and a half so it is clear that the onus is on us to reestablish our growth credentials," Gokongwei said on the sidelines of a Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) ceremony that honored his father, John Gokongwei Jr, as Man of the Year on Monday, November 27.

Gokongwei pointed out, however, that the firm's overall direction remains consistent and that he sees the dip as temporary.

"We're in the right segments. We just have to continue along the path and remain very aggressive in terms of building our brands' distribution and innovation," he added.

Gokongwei further explained that the proposed sugar tax, which is expected to be imposed next year, reinforces URC's recent investments in healthy drinks.

The proposed P10-per-liter tax on beverages such as powdered juices, energy drinks, carbonated drinks, bottled iced tea, and other sugary drinks is included in the Duterte administration's comprehensive tax reform package.

"We're in the right categories, primarily snacks and healthier products like B'lue Water or Vitasoy that will resonate with the market especially as sugar taxes are imposed, so products like heathy water and dairy products should benefit," Gokongwei said.

Last year, URC spent P21.38 billion to acquire Snack Brands Australia, the 2nd largest player in Australia's salty snacks market. URC is still paying off that acquisition, along with its 2014 acquisition of New Zealand-based snack-maker Griffin's.

Rebooting Vietnamese operations

URC's growth has also slowed in one of its key regional markets, Vietnam, falling by 48% as of the 2nd quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.

The drop came as URC dealt with the fallout of having its beverage brands C2 and Rong Do recalled last year due to excessive lead content. The company was fined P12 million by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health.

"In the last couple of months, we did a relaunch of C2 through a new campaign that focuses on the brand's natural qualities and focused really on more millennial users," Gokongwei said.

The effects of that relaunch could be felt in the 4th quarter of 2017.

"The recovery is beginning to come along. The last couple of months have been stronger as our marketing programs begin to take root. We're encouraged by this," Gokongwei said.

URC told its stockholders last June that it is targeting between $10 million and $13 million in Vietnam profits by the end of the year.


source: https://www.rappler.com/business/189680-...-gokongwei
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...planning for recovery, humina kasi income

URC wants to reestablish growth next year

Universal Robina Corp., the Gokongwei owned consumer food and beverage company in the Philippines, is striving to reestablish its growth next year after seeing its profitability weaken, its top official said.

URC, which posted lower net income in the nine month period, will work on strengthening its different brands to get back on track with its profitability, said URC president and CEO Lance Gokongwei.

“Certainly, that is what we’re working on. We want to reestablish our growth,” he said.

The prevailing weakness in profitability is just a hiccup and the company believes that it has successfully penetrated the right segments.

“We’re in the right segment. We just need to be aggressive in building our brands,” Gokongwei said.

In its latest financial report, URC said its profitability remained weak amid decline in volumes and a change in mix, particularly on the coffee category, of the Branded Consumer Foods Group (BCF) in the Philippines.
 
It posted a net income of P8.408 billion during the nine month period, a decline of 21.2 percent. URC attributed this to  lower unrealized net forex gains and the lower market valuation gain on financial assets at fair value through profit or loss (FVPL).

“Profitability remained weak as the company faced a decline in volumes and a change in mix particularly on the coffee category of BCF Philippines, a slower than expected recovery in Vietnam, and an overall unfavorable forex and input cost inflation,” URC said.

It likewise posted lower operating income at P10.767 billion during the nine-month period or a 7.4 percent decline.

Core earnings before tax registered at P9.735 billion, a 13.3 percent drop versus last year.

URC said this was due higher net finance costs from the additional long-term debt interest expense from the loan used for Snack Brands Australia acquisition, the continued servicing of the onshore debt in New Zealand, and the higher share of equitized losses from both the consolidation of the new joint venture with Vitasoy, and the continued heavy investments in advertising and promotions and distribution for the joint ventures with brands Calbee and Danone.

For the Vietnam business, Gokongwei said that business is getting back on track.

 “It’s beginning to come along and the last couple of months have been strong,” he said when asked if business in Vietnam has recovered after its C2 bottled tea drink was hounded by lead content issues last year.

URC is the leading branded snackfoods and beverage company in the Philippines. It is also a major player in the Asean region.    


source: http://www.philstar.com/business/2017/12...-next-year
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3-24

Robinsons acquires Rustan’s grocery business for P18 B

The Gokongwei’s Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) is acquiring Rustan Supercenters Inc. (RSCI) from Pan-Asian retail giant Dairy Farm Group through a share-swap deal valued at P18 billion.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, RRHI said it has agreed to partner with Dairy Farm “to build a leading food retail business.”

The respective Boards of Directors of RRHI and Mulgrave Corporation B.V (MCBV) approved the acquisition by RRHI of MCBV’s 100 percent stake in RSCI through a share for share swap involving shares of RSCI in exchange for primary common shares of RRHI.

RSCI operates food retail brands Marketplace by Rustan’s, Rustan’s Supermarket, Shopwise Hypermarket, Shopwise Express and Wellcome in the Philippines.

MCBV is wholly-owned member of Dairy Farm International Holdings, Ltd. Group of companies which is a unit of Hong Kong’s Jardine Matheson group.

Aside from the share swap of new RRHI shares, the firm said “certain members of the Gokongwei family intend to sell some of their shares which will result in t*he Gokongwei Family effectively owning 51 percent of the expanded capital of RRHI.”

After the completion of the secondary sale tranche, Dairy Farm, through MCBV, will own 18.25 percent of RRHI.

“Leveraging the combined strengths of RRHI and RSCI will lead to benefits to customers in terms of even better service, quality and value,” said RRHI.

It added that, “this transaction is intended to be completed once the necessary approvals are obtained from the shareholders of RRHI, the Philippine Competition Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

MCBV had initially acquired a 50 percent stake in RSCI from the Tantoco family in 2012 before increasing this to 66 percent and, eventually, 100 percent.

The Dairy Farm Group operates supermarkets, hypermarkets, health and beauty stores, convenience stores, home furnishing stores, and restaurants around Asia.

The Group carries well-known brands like Wellcome, Giant, Cold Storage, Jason’s Marketplace and Maxim’s. It also operates 7-Eleven and Ikea stores in Asia.


source: https://business.mb.com.ph/2018/03/24/ro...for-p18-b/
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4-16

Universal Robina spending P8 billion in 2018

Universal Robina Corporation earmarks a slightly lower capital spending budget this year, versus the actual spending of P8.13 billion in 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Food manufacturing giant Universal Robina Corporation (URC) earmarked P8 billion in capital spending budget for 2018, mainly to finance the expansion of its branded foods group.

In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, April 16, URC said that of the P8 billion, around P5.5 billion will be for expansion of capacities and improvement of handling, distribution, quality control, as well as operational efficiencies throughout the branded foods group.

Another P1.5 billion will be allocated for the commodity foods group for flourmill and pasta manufacturing equipment, as well as sugar business expansion, among others.

The remaining P1 billion will be for the agro-industrial group's sow level expansion, new commissary and processed meat plant, feedmill capacity expansions, farm improvements, and handling facilities for the feeds division.

URC earmarked slightly lower capital expenditures this year, compared with the P8.13-billion actual spending in 2017, which was primarily used for site development and building construction as well as the upgrade of beverage and snacks facilities in the Philippines.

Decline in net income
Last year, URC saw a 15.4% decline in net income to P10.8 billion, from P12.8 billion in 2016, as costs and expenses grew faster than revenues.

URC's consolidated net revenues in 2017 climbed 11% to P125 billion.

Sales from domestic operations also slightly declined to P59.18 billon in 2017, mainly due to lower volume and unfavorable mix in the coffee category, which dragged the sustained growth performance in snacks and the recovery of ready-to-drink beverages.

International sales, meanwhile, increased by 30.1% to P42.87 billion in 2017 due to the full-year consolidation of Snack Brands Australia (SBA) and growth from Thailand and Malaysia, which were partly offset by Vietnam's slower than expected recovery.

Cost of sales also rose 12.2% to P85.6 billion in 2017, from P76.4 billion in 2016, mainly coming from the effect of SBA's full-year consolidation.


source: https://www.rappler.com/business/200346-...tures-2018
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4-30

URC net income slides further in Q1 2018

The food manufacturing giant reports a net income of P3 billion in the 1st quarter of 2018, down 12%, as a weaker peso, inflation, and competition take a toll on domestic sales

MANILA, Philippines – Gokongwei-led food manufacturer Universal Robina Corporation (URC) saw its recent slide in net income continue in the 1st quarter of 2018, as a weak peso and inflation took a toll on domestic sales.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, April 30, URC reported a net income of P3 billion from January to March this year, a decline of 12% compared to the P3.4 billion in the same period last year.

This was partly cushioned by foreign exchange gains as an effect of the depreciation of the Philippine peso versus the US dollar.

URC noted that operating income and margin pressure "also remains challenged with a decline of 14% amounting to P3.5 billion due to the weaker performance in the Philippines as a result of lower coffee sales volumes, higher inflation, and forex devaluation."

URC's core earnings before tax was down by 25% at P2.9 billion, driven by lower operating income and an increase in other expenses.

Local, global sales
The drop comes despite the 2% increase in sales to P31.2 billion.

Total sales of URC's core branded consumer foods, both domestically and internationally excluding packaging, hit P25.1 billion, up 1%.

Its branded consumer foods sales in the Philippines declined by 5% to P14.3 billion, with URC saying that it "experienced challenges in core snacking and coffee."

In particular, its core beverages declined by 9%, which it attributed to "intense competition" in the coffee category. This is "despite the net sales value uplift" coming from ready-to-drink beverages such as C2 and additional sales of its water brand, Refresh.

According to URC, the implementation of the tax reform law beginning this year has affected volumes of C2, "but value remained buoyant" compared to last year given the offset of the price adjustment it made in January.

In contrast, URC's branded consumer foods sales internationally totaled P10.8 billion, a 10% growth – and 6% in US dollar terms – which it said was "driven by the recovery in Vietnam and growth of Snack Brands Australia."

The company's non-branded foods sales, meanwhile, were up 3% to P5.7 billion. Its agro-industrial division posted double-digit sales growth, but this was offset by the lower sales of the commodity foods division, sugar, and flour.

As of end-March 2018, URC's cash balance stood at P2.8 billion, with the company still in a net debt position of P31.5 billion, mainly due to the remaining long-term debt in Oceania as a result of investments in Australia and New Zealand.


source: https://www.rappler.com/business/201458-...me-q1-2018
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5-30

Universal Robina continues overseas expansion

MANILA -- Gokongwei-led food manufacturer Universal Robina Corporation (URC) is spending around PHP2.4 billion this year for the expansion of its business overseas.

“We are primarily adding snacking lines in Australia and additional confectionary lines in Malaysia,” URC chairman Lance Gokongwei told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting on Wednesday.

URC currently has a significant presence in Vietnam for the ready-to-drink tea category, Thailand for the biscuits wafers category, New Zealand for sweet biscuits and crackers salty snacks categories, and Australia for salty snacks category.

Gokongwei said the budget for overseas expansion represents 30 percent of the company’s PHP8 billion capital expenditures this year.

He noted the remaining amount will be spent in the Philippines as it expands facilities especially for sugar, flour and agro-industrial businesses.

In the Philippines, URC markets snacks, candies, chocolates, ready-to-drink tea, noodles, sugar, coffee, biscuits and pasta.

Gokongwei also bared the company is spending PHP1 billion to construct a manufacturing facility for soy milk brand Vitasoy in its bid to meet consumer demand for healthier product.

“We have a new factory for Vitasoy that is being constructed in Pampanga as we speak,” he said.

Gokongwei further said the facility is expected to be operational next year.

URC President and Chief Executive Officer Irwin Lee said “a number of our businesses are growing very, very strongly…There is also a lot of growth in the international business as well, that’s another growth driver.”


source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1037004
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