VISTA LAND & Lifescapes, Inc. recorded 9% increase in its net income for the first half to P3.8 billion as demand from overseas Filipinos remained strong amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vista Land said in a statement on Thursday that its real estate revenues during the period fell 13% to P11.1 billion as a result of slower construction activities in provincial areas, while its leasing income rose 6% to P3.6 billion.

“The company’s newly opened commercial centers, where the majority of the tenants are essential (i.e., home store and supermarket), contributed to the topline growth,” it said.

Vista Land Chairman Manuel B. Villar, Jr. said the strong demand from overseas Filipinos continued during the period, which resulted in a 14% growth in the company’s reservation sales to P29.4 billion.

Mr. Villar said the COVID-19 pandemic also gave a venue for the company to revisit its strategies and implement various operational efficiency measures that resulted in better margins.

“We remain optimistic with the industry especially with the performance of overseas Filipino remittances, which registered two consecutive months of double-digit growth and are currently at 6.6% growth for the first five months of the year,” Mr. Villar said.

Vista Land’s total assets as of end-June reached P301.1 billion, while its capital expenditure for the first half amounted to P11.3 billion used for construction and land development.

“Land acquisitions remained muted as the company disclosed that they are looking at maximizing its existing land bank. The company had 2,953 hectares of land as of end-June 2021. A total of P5-billion worth of projects were launched during the period, comprising 1 high end project, 3 affordable projects and 2 mid-rise buildings,” it said.

Vista Land President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Paolo A. Villar said the company’s various digital initiatives such as an online reservation system, expanded online payment options, virtual property tours, and social media platforms are yielding positive results.

“But we have just started, and we are working on more initiatives all aimed at better serving our clients as well as expand our reach,” Mr. Villar said.

On Thursday, shares of Vista Land at the stock exchange fell 3.65% or 13 centavos to finish at P3.43 each. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave