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PHILIPPINES: San Miguel issues upbeat forecast

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The Philippine food and beverage group, San Miguel Corp.(SMC),has said that it expects to improve on its 2001 net income of PHP6.47 billion ($124m) this year.

Ferdinand Constantino, SMC's chief finance officer, also said the group's recent acquisitions have started to show improvement and should fuel group growth, particularly in 2003.

"We will improve compared to the PHP6.4 billion last year," said Constantino, adding that the growth is coming from the contribution from Coke Philippines, from Cosmos Bottling and improved contributions from both its domestic food and beer businesses. "All of the operations are doing quite well," he said.

San Miguel acquired Coke Philippines last year through a joint venture with the Coca Cola Co. and following its formal acquisition of the country's second-biggest local soft drink producer, Cosmos Bottling Corporation, earlier this year, SMC's share of the Philippine soft drinks market increased to 87%.

Constantino said San Miguel's domestic beer sales volumes are set to grow by at least 3% this year, having already shown 3% growth at the half-year stage. Sales of its popular beer brand, San Miguel, rose by 12% in July, the company said, and sustained that growth level in August.


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