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Banking unit boosts Filinvest income

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FILINVEST Development Corp. (FDC) expanded its attributable net income in the first quarter by 8% to P3 billion due to the growth of its banking unit.

In a statement Thursday, the Gotianun-led holding company said it was able to rise above the challenges brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by implementing cost-control measures across its businesses.

While its total revenues slipped 2% to P17.18 billion, the company’s gross expenses were slightly lower at P14.75 billion from P14.83 billion last year.

Banking unit East West Banking Corp. contributed P2.3 billion to FDC’s net income, surging 75% from the year-ago figure due to improved margins in core lending and deposit-taking businesses and higher trading gains.

FDC’s real estate business, operating under Filinvest Land, Inc. and Filinvest Alabang, Inc., took the brunt of the negative impact of COVID-19 as its net income contribution dropped 26% to P1.5 billion. Sale of lots, condominium and residential units fell 40% to P3.4 billion due to lower sales take-ups last year and delayed project completions. Leasing revenues were flat at P1.9 billion.

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Power unit FDC Utilities, Inc. added P511 million in net income as its revenues dipped 5% to P2.2 billion. It said the lockdown in March due to the pandemic dented customer demand for its services.

The lockdown also weighed on hospitality arm Filinvest Hospitality Corp., which contributed a net income of P15.6 million as revenues fell 21% to P689 million. Five out of its six hotels were operational during the lockdown but on a very limited basis.

“We are in unprecedented times… We responded quickly to address our customers’ needs and provided financial relief such as rental waivers, deferment or loan term extensions during the [lockdown] period. These have impacted on our results for the first quarter,” FDC President and Chief Executive L. Josephine G. Yap said in the statement.

“Beyond financial and scenario planning, FDC and its subsidiaries answered the pandemic with clear protocols to safeguard the health and safety of the Filinvest family,” she added.

Shares in FDC at the stock exchange picked up 39 centavos or 4.81% to P8.49 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez

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