SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) reported on Wednesday that its consolidated net income increased by five percent to P9.5 billion in the first three months of the year from P9 billion year on year due to cost-cutting measures.

“We have reduced our operating costs and are benefiting from the high levels of cost efficiency that we focused on during the last twelve months,” SMIC President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company closed the January-to-March period with consolidated revenues of P96.9 billion, 13% lower than the P111.2 billion seen last year.

Its banking segment accounted for 54% of its net earnings from core businesses.

BDO Unibank, Inc. generated a net income of P10.4 billion during the quarter, 19% higher than the P8.8-billion income seen in the previous year “on the robust performance from service fee businesses that compensated for the weak demand for loans.”

Loans at BDO dropped by one percent year on year to P2.2 trillion, while total deposits increased by two percent to P2.6 trillion with an 11% rise in CASA (current account and savings account) deposits.

Meanwhile, China Banking Corp. reported a net income increase of 64% to P3.6 billion from the P2.2 billion seen in the same period last year.

China Bank’s net interest income went up by 16% to P9.2 billion due to a 52% interest expense dip.

“This was supplemented by a three-fold growth in fee-based income to P3.6 billion, driven by strong trading and securities gains of P2.2 billion,” SMIC said.

SMIC’s property segment contributed 33% of the company’s net earnings from subsidiaries.

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. finished the quarter with P6.5 billion in consolidated net income, which declined by 22% from P8.3 billion last year. Consolidated revenues fell by 19% to P20.8 billion from P25.8 billion.

Residential revenues grew by five percent to P11.9 billion, revenues in local mall businesses went down by 48% to P5.9 billion year on year, while other business segments contributed P1.6 billion in SM Prime’s consolidated revenues.

SM Retail Inc. generated a first-quarter net income of P1.6 billion, a 36% improvement from P1.2 billion earned in the first three months of 2020. However, revenues declined by 14% to P70 billion from P81 billion.

Food businesses in SM Markets, WalterMart, and Alfamart saved in utility expenses due to the use of energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration.

Meanwhile, non-food stores The SM Store and Specialty Retail also had cost-cutting measures, which led to a 58% growth in net earnings.

“As our businesses adapt to a challenging operating environment and broader economic uncertainties, we continue to innovate and find new ways to service our customers’ needs,” Mr. DyBuncio said.

On Wednesday, SMIC shares at the stock exchange went down by 0.94% to close at P951 each. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte