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Rockwell seeks to boost land bank

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ROCKWELL LAND Corp. is keeping its capital expenditures steady this year, but is ramping up spending for land acquisitions to grow its land bank until 2019.

The Lopez-led property developer has committed to spend P14 billion this year, the same level as the previous year. Rockwell Land will be using a combination of internally-generated funds and debt to finance the capex.

This year’s capex includes the P4-P5 billion that Rockwell Land plans to spend over the next two years for the acquisition of land, equivalent to around 284 hectares. This is in line with its goal to increase its land bank to around 12% of its total assets, against the current 3%.

For this year alone, Rockwell Land targets to close deals for around 64 hectares of land, Rockwell Land Senior Vice-President for Business Development Davy T. Tan said in a press briefing after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Makati yesterday.

“We’re looking at Metro Manila and north and south of Luzon because the wealth and the infrastructure are also growing outside. Usually it’s mixed use and communities,” Mr. Tan told reporters.

The company’s land bank currently stands at 50 hectares.

Meanwhile, the Lopez-led developer will be launching P10.7 billion worth of projects this year, including its first beachfront project called Aruga Resort and Residences in Mactan, Cebu next month.

Aruga Resort will consist of 300 residential units and 300 hotel rooms‚ half of which will be sold to investors — for a sales value of around P6 billion.

Prices of units, with sizes from 60 to 200 square meters, will range from P12 million to P30 million.

The company said it is also looking at popular tourist destinations such as Siargao and El Nido for potential resort projects. It will also assess Puerto Princesa, Cagayan de Oro, and Bohol for future developments, as these are currently gaining popularity among tourists.

Also set to be launched next month is the second tower of The Arton in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City, slated to generate P4 billion in sales. The high-end residential and retail project developed in partnership with Japanese retail firm Mitsui Fudosan, Inc. features 500 units priced at P150,000 per square meter.

The company is targeting investors and starting families for the project, which is located near the Ateneo de Manila University.

“We’re still optimistic because it’s really locally driven. Eighty percent of sales is from the local market, including overseas Filipinos… We’re being encouraged by people who live in the area,” Rockwell Land Chief Revenue Officer Valerie Jane Lopez-Soliven said during the same briefing.

Rockwell Land will also be launching the first phase of its horizontal, residential development in Lipa, Batangas. This will offer 200 lots and 200 house-and-lots valued at P700 million. The entire project is set to generate P5.8 billion in revenues for the firm.

With these, the company targets to sustain its 2017 profit growth this year. Rockwell Land’s net income grew by 15% to P2.1 billion last year.

In terms of revenues, Rockwell Land Chief Financial Officer Ellen V. Almodiel said the company expects growth to be “a little higher” than 2017. Its top-line grew 13% to P14.3 billion last year.

In the first quarter of 2018, Rockwell Land’s bottom line gained 19% to P614 million, lifted by a 9% increase in revenues to P3.33 billion.

Shares in Rockwell Land went down by a centavo or 0.48% to close at P2.07 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia