MANILA -- LT Group, Inc. booked a 17-percent increase in net income in the first nine months of 2019, driven by higher earnings from its tobacco business.

In a statement, the conglomerate said on Wednesday its attributable net income reached PHP14.72 billion in January to September from PHP12.57 billion during the same period last year.

The tobacco business, which accounted for 65 percent of total attributable income, grew its net income by 40 percent to PHP9.61 billion from PHP6.86 billion.

Equity in net earnings from LTG’s 49.6-percent stake in Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) reached PHP9.37 billion, up by 40 percent from PHP6.67 billion during the same period last year.

Net income of Philippine National Bank (PNB), which added 25 percent to total attributable income, declined by 15 percent to PHP1.11 billion in first nine months from PHP7.63 billion last year.

LTG attributed the bank’s lower net income under the pooling method to the absence of large gains from the sale of real and other properties acquired (ROPA).

Eton Properties Philippines, Inc. (Eton) doubled its profit to PHP629 million from PHP314 million.

LTG said net income of Tanduay Distillers, Inc. (TDI) declined by 28 percent to PHP518 million from PHP722 million.

Revenues from liquor were 2 percent lower due to the 4-percent drop in volume which was partially offset by the increase selling prices by an average of PHP14 per case, it added.

Earnings of Asia Brewery, Inc. (ABI) also declined by 13 percent to PHP254 million from PHP291 million.

LTG further said while revenues rose due to higher volumes of energy drinks, soymilk and bottled water, operating expenses also grew by 9 percent as the company spent more on advertising and promotions. (PNA)