Philippines-based food group Universal Robina Corp. today (7 September) confirmed that it expects its annual revenues to rise by up to 15% on the back of higher overseas sales.

In a statement to the Manila stock exchange, URC supported comments in the Philippines press from company president Lance Gokongwei that predicted better international sales growth in 2010.

“We’re on track. We expect the international business to grow nearly 30% this year,” Gokongwei said yesterday, according to The Manila Times. Gonkongwei had predicted growth of 25%.

The newspaper also said that URC expects group revenue to rise by 14-15% this year and, in its statement to the Manila stock exchange, the company confirmed both the international and company-wide forecasts.

Last month, URC said international sales of its branded consumer foods had reached PHP10.65bn (US$238.8m) in the first nine months of 2010, up 24.7% on a year earlier. Operating income from the division stood at PHP1.06bn, more than double the level seen in the first nine months of 2009.

URC, based in the Philippines, sells consumer food brands across Asia-Pacific, including in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The group also has agricultural and commodity interests in the hog, poultry, flour and sugar sectors.