Century Pacific joins MSCI Index

Century Pacific Food Inc., the Philippines' largest canned food company, is set to make its debut on the MSCI Philippine Small Cap Index on May 31.

"We are excited about the prospect of attracting more investors to our story," said Century Pacific chief finance officer Oscar Pobre said in a statement.

The MSCI Philippines Index, developed and monitored by Morgan Stanley Capital International Inc., is a basket of 19 Philippine Stock Exchange-listed stocks that "measures the performance of the large and mid-cap segments of the Philippine market". The index covers "about 85 percent" of the entire Philippine stock universe.

Century Pacific said its recent inclusion in the MSCI index was a result of a semi-annual review conducted by MSCI, the leading provider of stock market indices and investment decision tools to clients worldwide.

Century Pacific would join heavyweights Manila Water Co. Inc., First Gen. Corp. and Double Dragon Properties Inc. in the closely tracked index.

Other new additions to the Philippine small-cap index were gaming resort operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and technology firm Xurpas Inc.

"The domestic economy continues to provide growth opportunities for a company like ours and we look forward to growing with our shareholders, as we execute on our business plans and strategies," Pobre said.

Century Pacific reported a net income of P 636 million in the first quarter, up 45 percent from a year ago.

Consolidated revenues grew 14 percent year-on-year, with the company generating P23.32 billion in sales in the first quarter from P20.44 billion a year before.

This was on the back of an 18 percent year-on-year expansion in the branded businesses' top line, offsetting the flat performancefrom non-branded tuna export.

Sales outside of Metro Manila outperformed as the company's distribution infrastructure improved and modern retailers pursued aggressive expansion plans.

Growth in the convenience store channel was particularly strong in light of new rollouts.

"So far, 2016 has been showing similar trends with good macroeconomic tailwinds, and possibly election-related spending, benefitting us during the first three months of the year," Pobre said.

The company last year acquired Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc., an integrated producer of high value organic-certified and conventional coconut products whose revenues and net income would contribute to the group beginning 2016.

Century Pacific is engaged in the development, marketing and distribution of processed fish, meat, dairy and coconut products.

Source: The Standard