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More Smokers During Lockdown? Tobacco Business Lifts LT Group Income to P10 Billion in 1H 2020

But PNB posted a 64% decrease in earnings during the same period.
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Tycoon Lucio Tan’s listed LT Group reported total attributable net income of P10.03 billion in the first six months of 2020, up P790 million or nine percent compared to P9.24 billion during the same period in 2019. 

The company bucked the downward trend of many businesses severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic during the first half of the year.

Total net income of its tobacco business surged 40 percent during the time frame, from P5.87 billion in 2019 to P8.22 billion in 2020. 

According to the disclosure, the company attributes the higher income to the higher share of its premium Marlboro cigarette brand as well as the price increases implemented in late August 2019. 

It said the tobacco industry’s volume is estimated to have declined by 17 percent during the first half of 2020 due to impact of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Meanwhile, the LT Group’s Philippine National Bank (PNB) contributed P795 million or eight percent to the LT Group’s total attributable net income for the first six months of 2020. Total net income, however, was P1.44 billion, 64 percent lower than the P2.60 billion it posted in 2019.

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“The lower net income was primarily due to the Php8.44 billion provision for credit losses that the bank booked in 1H20, significantly higher compared to Php0.81 billion in 1H19, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has resulted in a downturn in the economy,” the company said.

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Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TDI) followed with P541 million or five percent, Eton Properties Philippines, Inc. (Eton) added P402 million or four percent while Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI) accounted for P40 million or less than one percent.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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