VISTA LAND and Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL)’s attributable profit grew by 13% in the first three months of 2018, supported by its residential business alongside the ramp up of its leasing segment.
The Villar-led property developer generated P2.54 billion in net income attributable to the parent for the first quarter, higher than the P2.26 billion it booked in the same period a year ago.
“We are pleased to have been able to achieve solid growth over the past years and it should be the same this year as we take advantage of the various synergies that we have unlocked among our businesses,” VLL Chairman Manuel B. Villar was quoted in a statement as saying.
Revenues jumped 12% to P10.1 billion, 83% of which came from the residential segment or around P8.4 billion. Its Camella brand, which offers affordable house and lots primarily in the provinces, continued to see strong sales, providing 75% of the total real estate revenues for the quarter.
The company recorded a 12% increase in reservation sales to P18 billion, equivalent to around 9,000 units. This places VLL on track to reach its full year target of more than P72 billion for reservation sales.
A total of 18 residential projects valued at P12.4 billion were launched during the quarter. Of this, 15 catered to the low and affordable segment while three were condominiums. VLL has scheduled P50 billion worth of projects in the pipeline for this year, although President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Paolo A. Villar said they are confident of easily topping this target.
Meanwhile, VLL’s leasing revenues went up by 14% to P1.6 billion, or 17% of the company’s total revenues.
The company is currently boosting its commercial leasing segment, in a bid to have 1.4 million square meters of leasable space by the end of the year. No additional leasable spaces were added for the quarter as most of VLL’s projects will be completed by the fourth quarter, according to Mr. Villar.
VLL has already spent P11.8 billion out of the P45-50 billion capital expenditures it has committed to spend for the year. While most of the budget will be funded by internally generated income, Mr. Villar said they may tap the bond market in the third quarter for the remaining balance.
“We’re gonna borrow in peso to cover our capex, which will be a combination of bonds and local bank loans… We’ll probably borrow maybe another P10 billion, just below P10 billion,” Mr. Villar said in a press briefing in Taguig City late Wednesday.
The VLL executive said the company is also looking at opportunities to borrow in dollar. Last year, the company raised $350 million, mostly to refinance existing debt.
Mr. Villar said the overall business environment continues to look good for the rest of the year despite the rising inflation and weakening peso.
“There’s inflation, but that’s okay because the economy is stronger. Hopefully it moderates next year… In our market, depreciation helps some of our customers because 60% of our sales are overseas Filipinos. Many of them have foreign currencies, especially dollar, so our market benefits from depreciation,” he said.
Shares in VLL fell by seven centavos or 1.04% to close at P6.68 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia