SM INVESTMENTS Corp. (SMIC) saw its net income shrink by more than half in the year-to-date period, despite improving its top line during the third quarter of 2020.

In a disclosure to the exchange Wednesday, the Sy-led conglomerate said its consolidated net income stood at P15.2 billion for the nine months ending September, down 54% from the same period a year ago.

Its revenues for the nine months declined 18% to P350.7 billion, despite a 36% improvement to P101.1 billion in the July-to-September period.

“We are encouraged by marked improvements in our results quarter-on-quarter as we saw renewed consumer activity. We remain watchful of underlying demand as we continue to face headwinds in the economy in areas such as employment and remittances,” SMIC President Frederic C. DyBuncio said in the statement.

The banking business of the group, operated by BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp., contributed half of the SMIC’s earnings for the nine-month period. The property segment made up 41% of the net income, while the retail segment accounted for 9%.

BDO Unibank reported P16.6 billion net income, down 48% from a year ago, due to provisions in the second quarter as it anticipated delinquencies due to the pandemic. But this was offset by the 23% income growth of China Bank, which generated P8.2 billion net income for the period.

The property segment, which accounts for SMIC’s operations of malls and residences, among other real estate, posted a 48% income decline to P14.4 billion. Revenues were also lower by 29% to P60.7 billion.

This is mainly attributable to the 57% drop in mall revenues, which stood at P18.3 billion at the end of the nine months. It outpaced the 7% growth of residential revenues to P34.2 billion.

SMIC’s retail segment posted an income of P2.2 billion, falling 73% from the same period last year. Revenues dropped 15% to P216.3 billion at the end of September.

The company linked this to the 11% revenue growth of food retail, particularly from its Alfamart convenience stores. SMIC aims to end the year with over 250 new Alfamart stores.

The department store and specialty store segments likewise delivered quarter-on-quarter growth, with department store revenues doubling to P10.5 billion and specialty store revenues growing 93% to P14.2 billion.

By the end of the nine months, SMIC’s total assets rose 2.1% to P1.2 trillion, with 38% net debt to 62% equity.

“In aid of reviving economic activity, SM has undertaken many programs for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the group such as through marketing campaign support and by waiving fees to help our MSMEs sustain their operations as well as credit support and improved cash access to our many banking clients across the country,” Mr. DyBuncio said.

SMIC shares at the stock exchange closed at P996 apiece on Wednesday, up P21.50 or 2.21% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez