Universal Robina Corp. (URC), manufacturer of Jack’N Jill snacks and Great Taste Coffee, began the year brilliantly, with net income from higher operating revenue and a reduction in currency losses in the first quarter up over 50%.

The Gokongwei-led listed business said, in its regulatory submission, that in the January-March quarter, its net revenue due to shareholders in the shareholders’ parent increased 51.3% to P3 billion from P1.98 billion a year earlier.

“This success was propelled by operational income growths, lower foreign exchange losses, controlled funding costs and further enhanced by benefits under the “CREATE” Bill, which refers to a law that cuts the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from July 2020 onwards.

Consolidated products and services sales increased 3.0% to P34.61 billion for the first quarter with foreign unit turnaround and product segment development compensating for the domestic decline in packaged consumer foods.

Despite a decline of 5% in domestic sales to 14,92 billion PM, packaged commodity food sales rose by 1,3 per cent up to P25,73 billion. URC pointed out that domestic revenues last year were based on “the initial pantry stock fuelled by the eruption of Taal, and the beginning of the pandemic household spending shifted into critical pantries.”

On the other side, net international revenue increased 11% to P10,8 billion, mostly as a result of currency appreciation in Australia and New Zealand.

The agroindustrial and product divisions of URC have seen revenue of P8.5 billion rise by 10 percent, due to a 19 percent increase in sales of the commodities food Segment.

The group has announced a net foreign exchange loss of P152 million, which has been less than P820 million a year earlier. This was mostly attributed to the Indonesian rupiah’s low depreciation of the US dollar and the Philippine peso’s increased devaluation of the US dollar relative to one year earlier.

In the first quarter of 2021, financial expenses of the URC decreased by 24.7% to P307 million, while financial turnover decreased by 60% to P43 million “by decreasing dividend income and lower interest rates.”

“There’s already a lot of COVID-19 with us. Domestic feeling remains mostly mute and many customers are very skeptical about expenditure. On the expense hand, we are in confrontation with the increasing price of commodities. We should build market share, boost total top-sales and achieve positive profit growth among these obstacles,” said Irwin C. Lee, Founder and President of URC, in an announcement.

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