San Miguel Corp. has posted a rise in net profit for the first two months of 2004. The Philippine food and beverage conglomerate announced today that net profit for January and February reached PHP1 billion from PHP918m in 2003. Group net sales increased by 14% to PHP24.4 billion from PHP21.4 billion.

The company said that results for the two-month period are already 80% of the total net profit recorded in the first quarter of 2003.

San Miguel's domestic beer division saw volume growth hit almost 30% for the period. Group sales volume was up by 5%.

Operating profit rose to PHP2 billion in the first two months, up from PHP1.5 billion last year, the company said.

In Q1 last year, San Miguel made a net profit of PHP1.34 billion based on net sales of PHP33.8 billion.

San Miguel is set to embark on a regional expansion program, and plans to invest US$500m over the next five years.