Ayala Land income up 13% in 2019

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AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) reported a 13% increase in net income last year to P33.2 billion after a single-digit growth in revenues that was driven by sales of office, commercial and industrial lots, the listed property company said on Friday.

The double-digit profit growth comes even as revenues grew by just 2% to P168.8 billion. The company has yet to report figures for the fourth quarter alone.

In its disclosure to the stock exchange, ALI said sales were supported by higher contributions from new leasing formats. It said property development revenues reached P117.6 billion, without giving a comparative number.

“We continue to serve new areas in the country and reach out to a broader market with more affordable products. This is in line with our mission to enrich the lives of more Filipinos. Furthermore, we continue to invest in all our existing estates which help spur economic activity in their respective localities,” said Bernard Vincent O. Dy, ALI president and chief executive officer, in a statement.

Sales reservations during the year hit P145.9 billion, up 3% compared with the figure a year ago as ALI’s Alveo and Avida brands recorded reservation growth.

Commercial leasing revenues rose 13% to P39.3 billion, driven by newly opened malls, offices and hotels.

Shopping center revenues rose by 11% to P22 billion after the increased contributions from Ayala Malls Feliz, Capitol Central and Circuit Makati.

In 2019, ALI opened three shopping centers with a total gross leasable area of 213,000 square meters, bringing its mall footprint to 2.12 million square meters.

Office revenues grew by 12% to P9.7 billion with the improved performance of ALI’s office assets in Ayala North Exchange, Vertis North, and Circuit Makati. Office gross leasable area hit 1.17 million square meters after the completion of Ayala North Exchange BPO Tower, Manila Bay BPO Tower and Central Bloc Corporate Center 1 in Cebu.

Revenues from hotels and resorts increased by 19% to P7.6 billion, with Seda Ayala Center Cebu and Seda Lio recording strong patronage. Up to 797 rooms were opened to this year to bring ALI’s total hotel and resort rooms to 3,705.

ALI’s performance last year was marked by the second straight year that it exceeded its target P100-billion capital expenditure (capex) with the continued investment in new mixed-use developments across the country. Capex last year hit P109 billion equivalent to 64% of gross revenues.

Last year, ALI launched P158.9 billion worth of property development projects and P15.1 billion in malls, offices, and hotels resorts with its continued thrust to build sustainable, integrated, mixed-use communities across the country.

“The company also continues to extend its reach to serve the broader housing market. Its Avida, Amaia and Bellavita residential brands delivered 11,476 units in 2019 and have, over the last five years, increased its delivered units by 28% year on year,” it said.

The company’s major launches last year include Cresendo in Tarlac, which is its 29th estate to date.

ALI invested P18 billion to develop the 290-hectare “new downtown” in Tarlac, which is three kilometers from the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and MacArthur Highway. It said a 32-hectare industrial park for light to medium industries, and a commercial row of shophouses are poised to jumpstart local business and employment in the area.

The company also launched the 120-hectare Broadfield, which was planned as a new commercial and industrial district in Biñan, Laguna.

“Seeing potential in enhancing fully built-up areas with smaller community hubs, ALI also introduced The Junction Place, an 11-hectare pocket urban development located in the Novaliches-Quezon City area,” it said.

This year, ALI through its real estate investment trust (REIT) vehicle AREIT, Inc. became the first Philippine company to file for listing at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing on Feb. 7, 2020 “reflects the company’s commitment to provide Filipinos with options to invest in high-quality, income-generating assets,” it said.

“ALI’s initiative to establish the first REIT reflects its confidence in the local economy, and with it hopes to pave the way for the development of a healthy and sustainable REIT market in the country,” it added.

On Friday, shares in ALI traded lower by P1.80 or 4.2% to close at P41.10 each. — Victor V. Saulon