EARNINGS of Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) ballooned 82% in the first quarter due to changes in its accounting policy which resulted in higher profits from its residential business.

The Gokongwei-led real estate company reported a net income of P3.34 billion in the January-to-March period, jumping from P1.8 billion in the same period last year. Consolidated revenue likewise rose 70% to P11.57 billion.

In a statement, the company said its new accounting policy resulted in a 241% leap in residential revenues to P6.7 billion, which made up 58% of its consolidated revenue. This is due to the recognition of revenue based on a buyer’s equity threshold of 10% from the previous 15%.

But the remainder of revenues which comprised those from RLC’s investment portfolio were flat because of operational disruptions from following lockdown measures implemented in mid-March.

Capital expenditures (capex) for local operations stood at P5.91 billion in the first quarter. For the full year, RLC said it is cutting capex to P24 billion from P27 billion as an effect of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Due to the effects of the ECQ and the expected slow transition back to normal life, RLC has assessed its new projects pipeline. Projects that have not commenced will no longer be pursued for now,” it said.

By business segment, RLC’s mall business contributed revenues of P2.87 billion, down by 8% from a year ago. This is attributed to the closure of its 52-mall network across the country in compliance with government orders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

The office segment added P1.43 billion, up by 27% from last year, due to the strong market reception of its new buildings in Quezon City and Tarlac. RLC now has 23 operational sites in its portfolio of office buildings.

Hotels and resorts raised P468 million in the first quarter, down by 10% from in 2019. The company said even before the lockdown, there have been frequent booking cancellations because of fear of the coronavirus and the eruption of Taal Volcano in January. The company’s average occupancy rate stood at 79% for its network of more than 3,000 rooms.

Revenues from RLC’s industrial and integrated developments division, which accounts for its operations of warehouse facilities, grew 96% to P96.4 million. The company said it intends to build more warehouses to expand its portfolio.

“RLC continues to be optimistic about its growth outlook as it builds a larger and more diversified platform. Our strong fundamentals and solid balance sheet will help us navigate the challenges brought about by the new coronavirus,” RLC President and Chief Executive Officer Frederick D. Go said in the statement.

“As we emerge from the enhanced community quarantine, our priorities are the welfare and wellbeing of our employees, business partners, and patrons,” he added.

Shares in RLC at the stock exchange increased 58 centavos or 4.04% to P14.92 each on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez