The Philippine food and drink company San Miguel Corp reported a slight fall in 2001 net profit on the back of three major acquisitions last year.

San Miguel's net profit declined to 6.50 billion pesos (US$126.7m) in 2001 from PHP6.84 billion in 2000, on revenues of PHP121.6 billion, up 48%.

However, net profit excluding acquisitions totalled PHP7.3 billion and analysts believe the investments will provide good earnings growth in the future.

The three acquisitions included Pure Foods Corp. (Q.PFD), Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines Inc (CCBP) and Cosmos Bottling Corp.

Pure Foods and Cosmos are expected to be key growth drivers for San Miguel in 2002, while CCBP will only likely make a significant contribution in the following year.

The company's beer operations meanwhile were flat, due mainly to a weak domestic market and higher raw material costs. Operating income from the brewery side of the business was around PHP4 billion. But exports were encouraging, with sales up 5% to US$237.6m.

"This improvement was driven by a better product mix, continued rationalization of sales efforts and distribution systems, and cost management programs, the company said in a statement.