PROPERTY developer Megaworld Corp. (Megaworld) reported an 18% increase in its earnings last year, lifted by a double-digit growth across its core business segments.

In a statement on Thursday, the Andrew L. Tan-led firm said its attributable net income grew to P17.9 billion in 2019 from P15.2 billion in 2018.

Reported net income rose 22% to P19.3 billion, while net income minus non-recurring gains reached a record P18.6 billion to improve 18% from the previous year.

Consolidated revenues stood at P67.3 billion, a 17% increase on the back of strong returns across Megaworld’s key units.

By business segment, real estate sales posted the biggest contribution, amounting to P42.6 billion or a growth of 12% from a year ago. A record-level sales reservation of P149 billion was also seen last year, driven by the launch of P85-billion worth of new projects.

The rental business added P16.8 billion to rise 18% from the previous year. Office leasing comprised P10.5 billion, which came from opening around 192,300 square meters (sq. m.) of new leasable office spaces last year. The company now has a total of 1.3 million sq. m. of leasable space in its portfolio.

“Undoubtedly, our strongest rental business still comes from our leases of prime office spaces across the Philippines,” Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin L. Tan said in the statement.

“I would like to point out the growth in the demand for office spaces outside of Metro Manila, in which we are in the best position to provide to space seekers because of our adequate office inventory in the provinces including those that are still in our pipeline,” he added.

Malls contributed P6.3 billion to rental revenues after adding around 20,600 sq. m. of leasable space last year. Megaworld now has 453,000 sq. m. of total leasable space in its portfolio.

Revenues from the hotel segment stood at P2.5 billion, higher by 67% from in 2018. This is fueled by the opening of three new hotel properties in Manila, Boracay and Cebu, which had 93 rooms, 442 rooms and 547 rooms, respectively.

“Megaworld still has the lowest financial gearing among the major listed property companies. We ended 2019 with a net debt-to-equity ratio of 26%, even lower than its 2018 level of 31% as gross debts stood unchanged during the year. This should give us more elbow room to lever up once the situation improves, likely by next year,” Mr. Tan said.

Shares in Megaworld at the stock exchange saw a one centavo uptick to P2.58 on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez