earnings reports

Tax cuts, divestment push Universal Robina 9-month profits up 38%

Ralf Rivas
Universal Robina's profits jump, but it continues to face headwinds due to the pandemic

Universal Robina Corporation (URC) posted a 38% growth in its net income for the first nine months of 2021, mainly due to tax cuts, a divestment from a business overseas, and sale of idle land.

The business, however, continues to battle headwinds brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a stock exchange filing on Tuesday, November 2, URC reported that its net income from January to September stood at P11.2 billion from P8.1 billion a year ago, but sales of goods only posted a 3% growth to P102.6 billion.

Gross profit amounted to P25 billion, down by 3.3%.

A closer look at the figures shows further declines. For instance, sale of goods and services of its branded consumer foods segment saw a 2.5% decrease. BCF domestic operations posted a 5% decrease in sales.

Sales of its agro-industrial group amounted to P8.5 billion, 7.4% lower than in 2020.

Sales from its commodity foods group posted a 19.7% increase to P15.7 billion, as its sugar and renewables business grew 25.8%.

Meanwhile, URC’s divestment of its business in Oceania resulted in a one-time gain amounting to $250 million (around P12.6 billion).

URC sold its controlling stake in Australian joint venture firm Unisnack ANZ to minority partner Intersnack Group last July.

“We find ourselves in unprecedented times, challenged on all fronts, with muted market conditions and immense cost pressures,” said URC president and chief executive officer Erwin Lee.

“As the vaccination rollout across the region speeds up, it is only a matter of time before consumer sentiment improves and we resume our strong growth trajectory.”

Shares of URC closed 4.35% lower on Tuesday. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.