Ginebra San Miguel, the spirits arm of San Miguel Corp, has reported net profits up by 75% in the first half of 2009.

Net profits for the six months to the end of June reached PHP425m (US$8.8m), compared to PHP242m in the same period a year earlier, Ginebra San Miguel said in a stock filing today (17 July).

Net sales for the half-year rose by 26% to PHP9.4bn, while EBITDA, or operating profits, rose by 41% to PHP868m for the period.

Reasons for the growth were not given in the group's statement.

In the first quarter of 2009, net profits at the group almost doubled, to PHP249m from PHP129.7m in the first three months of 2008. No details regarding the second quarter were provided.

Ginebra San Miguel said in its first quarter statement that it had expanded its business, increasing the presence of major brands Gran Matador and GSM Blue across the Philippines. 

This drove a 17% volume sales rise in Q1, which, coupled with higher prices, led to a 35% rise in net sales to PHP4.6bn. The group also benefited from lower distillation costs, it said.

Earlier this week, San Miguel Brewery, also controlled by San Miguel Corp, reported 4% rises in net sales and profits for the first six months of 2009.