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VIET SEAFOOD

Century Pacific Reporting Flat Tuna Sales For1H

Philippine canned tuna manufacturer Century Pacific expects growth in the second half of the year after sales flattish sales in the first six months.
“There [is] a lot of talk about the Philippines’ GDP growth this year because it is an election year but we didn’t feel the surge from the election spending for our products,” said Christopher Po, Century Pacific president and chief executive officer.
The company came off 2012 with growth of 7-8 percent. In the first quarter this year, the Philippines’ gross domestic product -- a measure of economic performance -- expanded by 7.8 percent, the fastest in Asia and even beating China’s 7.7 percent growth.
Apart from flagship Century Tuna, the group is also behind the tuna brands 555, Blue Bay and Fresca; Argentina meat products; Wow ready-to-eat mix; dairy brands Angel and Birch Three. It also brought Japanese brand Yoshinoya to Manila.
“Maybe peoples’ habits are changing. They are eating out more,” Po said, adding that the young population has more purchasing power because they have higher levels of disposable income, thanks largely to the robust business processing outsourcing sector.
“We are optimistic that we can still catch up for the rest of the year,” he said, adding that they will put “more emphasis on serving restaurants and food service institutions.”
“I hope we’d still grow in line with GDP,” Po said.
The Century Pacific Group's canned tuna factory “Majestic Corporation” in Papua New Guinea just opened this month. Apart from selling its own brands, Century Pacific is a toll manufacturer for overseas markets.
“The export market is important for us. It gives us the scale to be competitive,” Po said, adding that exports so far account for 20-25 percent of the total business.
The Papua New Guinea factory, the company’s first outside the country, is a partnership project among Century Canning, local fishing giant Frabelle (PNG) Ltd, and leading global tuna supplier Thai Union Corp.
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