San Miguel Corp in high spirits

San Miguel Corp in high spirits

The spirits arm of San Miguel Corp, Ginebra San Miguel, has reported a strong sales rise in the first quarter of 2010.

Net sales rose by 22% to PHP5.57bn (US$124m) for the three months to the end of March, compared to PHP4.56bn in the same period of 2009, said San Miguel Corp today (17 May).

The Philippines-based group attributed the growth to higher volumes and strong demand for its core brands Ginebra San Miguel Gin and GSM Blue.

Stable fuel prices and lower molasses costs helped Ginebra San Miguel's operating profits to rise by 14% to PHP474m for the quarter. Net profits rose by 27% to PHP317m, versus PHP249m last year.

The performance may boost San Miguel Corp's search for an investor in the spirits business.

Ginebra San Miguel and San Miguel Brewery were the main drivers of a 7% rise in first quarter sales for San Miguel Corp, to PHP44.7bn. Group profits also rose by 7%, to PHP2.9bn.

For more on San Miguel Brewery's first quarter results, click here.