The publicly listed maker of Century Tuna and Argentina corned beef canned goods said sales were picking up despite a series of price increases due to consumers switching to cheaper and more convenient alternatives as belts tighten during the current inflation surge.
Century Pacific Food Inc., which also owns Swift processed meats and the iconic sardines brand, Ligo, was seeing "double-digit sales revenue growth" as rising input costs push up prices for fresh meat and produce, executive chair Christopher Po said on Thursday.
Feeling the pinch
"The kinds of products or the majority of the products we offer to the market are essentials or staples," Po told reporters following the company's annual stockholders' meeting.
Century Pacific chief operating officer Gregory Banzon said middle to lower income families were feeling the pinch from rising consumer prices.
He said many were "realizing that buying canned meat and canned food is a more affordable option." He said price jumps in these categories were also less apparent versus the increase in fresh meat.
Po said they had already implemented a series of price hikes starting last year.
Currently, the company had increased retail prices by the mid single-digits but this could rise to the high single-digits by the end of 2022.
"We are not passing on everything all in one go because we want to cushion the effect on our consumers. We have to be careful we don't do it too quickly that our consumers might also substitute our products," he said.
Po said Century Pacific was setting aside P2 billion this year for expansion and to upgrade its IT and digital infrastructure. He said their present tuna and coconut manufacturing capacity was "highly utilized at this point in time."
Century Pacific earlier disclosed that first quarter net income rose 10 percent to P1.4 billion as net revenues reached P14.7 billion, up 10 percent. The company said sales were boosted by its branded segment, comprised from its canned meats and milk categories, accounting for 82 percent of sales.
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