UPDATE 1-San Miguel Philippines beer unit revenue up 8 pct

Wed Jan 9, 2008 6:04am EST

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MANILA Jan 9 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian food and drinks giant San Miguel SMCB.PS(SMC.PS) said on Wednesday its Philippine beer unit had estimated revenue growth of nearly 8 percent in 2007 due to a growing local economy.

The Manila-headquartered group expects to raise up to 25 billion pesos ($616 million) from listing its flagship domestic beer group in the first half of this year.

"In 2007, unaudited volumes rose nearly 8 percent with estimated revenue growing at almost the same pace year on year," San Miguel Brewery said in a statement.

In 2006, San Miguel Brewery's revenues fell 1 percent as consumption suffered from a higher sales tax.

Last year, the unit gained from improving demand and congressional elections, which saw free beer distributed at some rallies.

San Miguel Brewery dominates the local market for beer with an estimated share of 93 percent.

Top Japanese brewer Kirin Holdings (2503.T), which holds 20 percent of San Miguel, is widely expected to take up a substantial portion of the IPO.

San Miguel's A shares, which are restricted to local investors, rose 0.83 percent on Wednesday and its B stock, open to all, climbed 1.67 percent in a general market .PSI down 0.13 percent.

($1 = 40.56 pesos)

(Reporting by Carmel Crimmins; Editing by Ben Tan/Rory Channing)

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