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Ayala Land profit down 77% in Q3

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Shopping malls such as Ayala Malls TriNoma have seen foot traffic improve as lockdown restrictions eased. -- BW File Photo

Earnings of Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) slumped 77% in the third quarter to P1.85 billion from P8.05 billion during the same period a year ago, as its business continued to suffer amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a regulatory filing Friday, the listed property developer said its revenues during the three-month period slid 42% to P22.12 billion from P38.44 billion a year ago, owing largely to a 44% decline in its real estate revenues to P19.44 billion

But on a quarter-on-quarter basis, ALI’s revenues jumped 73% in the July to September period with the relaxation of lockdown protocols that allowed shopping malls and more businesses to increase their operating capacity.

ALI said property development revenues more than doubled to P15.7 billion quarter-on-quarter, as construction activities were allowed to resume starting June. Residential sales likewise improved 66% quarter-on-quarter to P22.5 billion as demand and selling activity started picking up after the lockdown rules were eased.

Revenues from mall operations grew 29% quarter-on-quarter to P1.5 billion, as Ayala Land’s mall network has returned to operations since the latter half of the second quarter. While foot traffic at the malls improved, it was still 30-35% of its levels before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the nine months from January to September, Ayala Land’s attributable net income stood at P6.37 billion, down 73% from a year ago. Consolidated revenues were cut 48% to P63.32 billion.

Property development revenues were 52% down to P40.6 billion on a year-on-year basis. Residential sales dropped 44% to P60.8 billion, while commercial leasing revenues fell 37% to P17.3 billion.

“COVID-19 continues to significantly affect our operations and the performance of our company. We’ve seen, however, improvement in the majority of our business lines in the third quarter as pandemic-related restrictions gradually eased,” Ayala Land President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy said in a statement.

“We anticipate favorable developments moving forward as the reopening of the economy gains traction and have started to introduce new product inventory in our estates,” Mr. Dy added.

Ayala Land was able to spend P45.3 billion for capital expenditures (capex) during the first nine months of the year, accounting for 65% of its P69.8 billion allocation for 2020. Most of these were spent on residential developments and commercial leasing assets.

The company also noted an improving balance sheet in the third quarter, with net gearing ratio ending at 0.75:1 against 0.87:1 in the first six months of the year.

In April, Ayala Land decided to postpone all project launches scheduled in 2020 and to reduce its capex by P40 billion to preserve cash amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shares in Ayala Land closed at P35 apiece on Friday, up 95 centavos or 2.79% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez

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