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SanMig confirms April beer sales up 12 %

San Miguel Corp SMCB.PS , Southeast Asia’s biggest food and beverage firm, confirmed on Wednesday its beer sales leapt 12 percent in its Philippine home market in April.

San Miguel - 15 percent owned by Japan’s Kirin Brewery Co Ltd 2503.T - also confirmed a Reuters report on Tuesday, based on a source close to the company, that domestic beer sales grew about 10 percent in January to April from a year earlier.

Beer comprises about a fifth of its consolidated sales.

San Miguel dominates the Philippine beer market with a share of about 90 percent and its units are leading names in liquor, soft drinks and food - meaning the group’s sales are a barometer for the country’s broader consumer spending patterns.

"We confirm that San Miguel’s domestic beer volumes for April and the first four months increased by 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively," it said in a statement to the stock exchange.

San Miguel posted 10 percent volume growth in local beer sales in the first quarter, fuelling a 12 percent climb in revenue and a 21 percent jump in net income in the period.

CLSA Securities said in a note last week that San Miguel’s core beverage units sustained strong volume growth in April, helped by heavy promotion and a wider dealership network.

"If the trend continues for the rest of the year then beer volume sales should easily reach 147 million cases for 2003," CLSA said.

"This would be a major improvement from the 134.3 million cases sold last year and the first time in recent years that the company would have posted two years of continued growth."

San Miguel’s A shares, open only to local investors, closed unchanged at 54.50 pesos on Wednesday. Its B shares SMCB.PS , open to all investors, were steady at 64 pesos.

Reuters - 11 June 2003
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