Universal Robina Corp., the biggest snack food maker, said Thursday its Philippine operations may start seeing some recovery by the latter part of the year on the continued vaccination rollout and as the government further reopens the economy.
URC president Irwin Lee said during the annual stockholders’ meeting full recovery may be expected next year. He noted that business recovery was being observed in different paces in countries where URC operates .
URC’s operations in Thailand and Vietnam started to recover in the first quarter of the year. But the economic rebound in the Philippines, where the bulk of its operations are located, has not started because of the pandemic’s impact.
Lee said the rising commodity prices were an added challenge to overall operations this year.
URC posted a net income of P3.2 billion in the first quarter of the year, up 51 percent year-on-year, mainly driven by higher operating income and lower net foreign exchange loss.
First-quarter sales rose three percent to P34.6 billion on year.
Sales of branded consumer foods to the domestic market declined 5 percent P14.9 billion, as market sentiment continues to be challenged.
International revenues, meanwhile, hit P10.8 billion, up 11 percent from last year’s, driven by the strong recovery of Southeast Asian markets, especially Vietnam and Thailand, as well as favorable exchange rates.
Sales from agro-industrial and commodities group totaled P8.5 billion, up 10 percent from a year ago.
URC last year acquired Central Azucarera de La Carlota and Roxol Bioenergy Corp. from Roxas Holdings Inc. to expand its sugar milling operations.