Robust demand lifts profits of developers

05/03/2011 | By: Neil Jerome C. Morales, Business World

THREE LISTED property firms recorded profit spikes last year due to robust demand in their respective markets, separate disclosures filed with the local bourse yesterday showed.

Ongpin-led Alphaland Corp. saw its earnings breach the billion-peso mark in 2010 after enjoying less than P100 million beforehand while Anchor Land Holdings, Inc. net income topped the previous year’s by more than half. Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. for its part posted a fivefold increase.

“Accounting for the huge increase in bottom line for the period are gain on fair value change of investment properties, gain on bargain purchase of an investment, higher revenues from property leasing, and increased equity in net income of associates,” Alphaland said.

Alphaland’s net income surged to P1.25 billion last year from P73.9 million in 2009.

“Revenues were derived from the lease of Alphaland’s Southgate Tower and Mall that commenced in August 2009,” Alphaland said.

But costs and expenses more than doubled to P298.7 million last year from P130.9 million in 2009.

This was due to incorporation expenses of the new companies within the group, taxes and licenses, higher utilities and rent and service and professional fees, Alphaland said.

Alphaland is owned by RVO Capital Ventures Corp., a company controlled by former Trade minister Roberto V. Ongpin.

The property developer plans to spend as much as P1.2 billion to build new projects and expand existing ones this year.

Shares in Alphaland, which joined the local stock exchange in 2009 after taking over Macondray Plastics, Inc. under a backdoor listing scheme, lost 10 centavos to P54.80 each yesterday.

Anchor Land, meanwhile, saw profits rise by 52% to P566 million in 2010 due to the boost from stronger sales of its high-end condominium units.

The latest figures were driven by a 63% hike in revenues to P2.66 billion from P1.62 billion in 2009. It is the first time the company broke through the P2-billion mark, Anchor Land said.

The revenues offset a 78% increase in costs and expenses — costs of real estate sales, administrative expenses and finance costs — to P2.66 billion last year from P1.63 billion in the previous year.

Revenues will reach a record P3 billion this year as existing projects near completion, the company added. But this 12% revenue growth is slower than the 63% hike in 2010 versus 2009.

“Consistent and robust growth has likewise given us the financial means to pursue more ambitious projects,” Anchor Land Chairman Stephen Lee Keng said.

“This allows us to expand our landbanking activities and finance ongoing projects,” the executive said.

Shares in Anchor Land — which is valued by the market at P3.81 billion — were last traded on Monday at P11 each.

Sta. Lucia Land for its part posted a fivefold surge in profits to P146 million last year.

“The increase was due to the effective cost and expense management, the continuous growth in sales of both infused and ongoing project of Sta. Lucia Land,” the company said.

It was supported by a 54% growth in revenues to P1.28 billion last year, which offset a 33% jump in costs and expenses to P1.03 billion in 2010.

The property firm said it plans to raise as much as $150 million or about P6.5 billion in the fourth quarter to increase its public float beyond the required 10% from the existing 2.8%.

Early in March, Sta. Lucia Land announced a five-year, P11-billion investment for new housing and commercial projects to take advantage of high market demand.

Shares in Sta. Lucia, which has a market value of P11.44 billion, rose by two centavos to P1.08 each yesterday.

The three property firms tracked the trend shown by property giants, which also reported strong performance last year.

Profits of Ayala Land, Inc. climbed by a third while SM Development Corp. posted a 62% net income growth and Megaworld Corp.’s earnings surged by a quarter last year.

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