Analysts are predicting that the Philippines food and drinks group, San Miguel Corp. (SMC), will reverse its slowdown in profit and post robust growth by the year end.

UBS Warburg forecasts a net profit of almost PHP6.9 billion, noting benefits from the restructuring of SMC's soft drinks subsidiary, Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines, Inc (CCBPI). According to the UBS report, since its acquisition by SMC in 2001, the bottler has registered strong sales compared with the summer months of the past three years.

KGI Securites expects operating margins at CCBPI to stabilize at 11% to 12% by the year end and SMC's net income to rise by 12% to PHP7.23 billion.

San Miguel itself made the positive brokers' reports available in a disclosure to the Philippines Stock Exchange. In addition to the UBS Warburg and KGI Securities reports, the disclosure also included forecasts from Abacus Securities and ABN Amro which expects SMC's 2002 profit to reach PHP7.79 billion.