San Miguel Corp has reported a strong set of figures for the year so far.

The Philippines food and drink giant said today (16 November) that net income in the first nine months of 2006 leapt by 18% year-on-year to PHP6.17bn (US$123.1m). Consolidated net sales performed equally well, posting a 14% rise to PHP183bn in the period, with operating profit climbing by 25% to PHP14.7bn.

San Miguel's beer units performed well, with operating profit from its domestic brewer coming in 13% up on the same period in 2005 at PHP6.54bn, despite flat sales of PHP29.1bn. International beer operations were up by 5% to US$217.9m, driven by stronger volumes from China.

The company's spirits subsidiary, Ginebra San Miguel saw revenue for the period rise by 2% year-on-year to PHP9.28bn, but operating income dropped by 22% to PHP798m.

The group's Coca-Cola Beverage Group saw weak third quarter volumes and higher costs hit operating income, which plunged by 36% to PHP420m.

The Australian dairy and juice units, National Foods and Berri, turned in total sales of A$1.34bn and operating profit of A$103m, both up 6% from a year earlier.

Japanese company Kirin Brewery holds a 20% stake in San Miguel.