Banking, tobacco units lift LT Group’s profit to P6.42 billion in first quarter

LUCIO C. Tan’s LT Group, Inc. reported a 1% increase in its first-quarter attributable net income to P6.42 billion, driven by its banking and tobacco units.

Philippine National Bank (PNB) took up 46% or P2.97 billion of the total first-quarter income, while the tobacco business shared 41% or P2.65 billion, LT Group said in a statement to the stock exchange on May 13.

Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TDI) contributed 4% or P254 million, while Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI), Eton Properties Philippines, Inc., and Victorias Milling Co., Inc. accounted for 2% each, at P155 million, P116 million and P100 million, respectively. Other income contributed 3% or P168 million.

For the first quarter, PNB’s net profit under the pooling method grew by 10% to P5.31 billion from P4.83 billion in 2023.

Loans and receivables increased by 4% to P610 billion while net interest income surged by 12% to P11.69 billion. Net service fees and commission income dropped by 24% to P1.18 billion.

LT Group said its tobacco business, led by PMFTC, Inc., saw a 13% decline in first quarter net profit to P2.66 billion. Most of the income was from equity in net earnings from the group’s 49.6% stake in PMFTC.

First-quarter industry volume excluding illicit trade fell 11% to 10.2 billion sticks due to affordability challenges of consumers, increasing illicit incidence, and the proliferation of vaping products.

For the group’s liquor business, TDI recorded a 1.2% drop in net income to P255 million during the period as liquor volume fell 13%. Bioethanol volume increased by 1%.

Revenue declined by 5% to P5.9 billion due to lower liquor volume that was partially offset by a price increase in early 2023.

As of end-March, TDI’s nationwide market share rose to 31.6% from 29.1% last year.

The conglomerate’s beverage business, led by ABI, saw a 107% jump in first-quarter net profit to P155 million as revenues increased by 15% to P4.39 billion on higher volumes across product lines.

During the period, the Cobra energy drink brand maintained its leadership with a 57% market share while bottled water brands Absolute and Summit had the third largest share at 19%.

Meanwhile, Eton Properties recorded a 5% drop in its first quarter net income to P116 million. Leasing revenues surged by 12% on higher occupancy and lease rates.

The property developer was able to book P50 million in residential sales as it resumed the selling of remaining inventory from previously launched projects such as 68 Roces in Quezon City and in Eton City, Laguna.

Eton currently has a leasing portfolio of around 289,000 square meters, of which close to 192,000 square meters is for office space.

On Tuesday, LT Group shares were unchanged at P10.02 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave