Philippine conglomerate San Miguel Corp. saw profits from its food business jump 81% during the first nine months of the year, the company said today (12 November).

For the nine months to the end of September, consolidated operating income for San Miguel's food division reached PHP4.17bn (US$95.4m) thanks to "favourable raw material prices in poultry, basic meats, flour and dairy".

Sales revenue in the food division grew 3% to PHP57.7bn due to improved poultry, feeds and flour volumes, as well as better volumes from processed meats in Indonesia.

The company's consolidated operating income, which includes divisions such as beverages and packaging, was up 50% to PHP19.7bn. Consolidated sales revenues were up 28% to PHP 161.8bn.

Strong performances across drinks and food drove the results, said the group, which has spent the last couple of years seeking to diversify into infrastructure and heavy industry.

Partly as a result of this strategy, net profit for the nine months were PHP12.7bn, compared to PHP57bn in the same period of 2009 and PHP20bn in 2008. In both of those years, one-off gains inflated earnings.