Company To Watch: San Miguel/philippines
San Miguel’s Pale Pilsen is the leading beer not only in the Philippines but also in Hong Kong and the southern part of China. Meanwhile, the company’s growing range of beverages, from fruit juices to milk, is conquering markets from Australia to Thailand, with Vietnam soon to follow.
Manila-based San Miguel’s consolidated operating income rose 49% in the first quarter of 2006 from the same period a year earlier, reflecting in part the acquisition of Australian food company National Foods, whose Pura Milk is Australia’s leading milk brand. Following its merger with Berri, National Foods processes half of all fruit-juice beverages sold in Australia. It also makes yogurt, specialty cheeses and smoked salmon.
In December 2005 San Miguel formed a joint venture with ketchup-maker NutriAsia to buy pineapple processor Del Monte Pacific, which owns Del Monte brand rights for the Philippines and the Indian subcontinent and which also has long-term contracts to supply juice and fruit drinks to North America, Europe and the Far East. In addition, San Miguel acquired King’s Creameries and Guolene Packaging of Malaysia in 2005. San Miguel’s beer and food businesses have been able to maintain their margins despite inflationary pressures.