SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. reported a 16.4% increase in net income during the second quarter to P10.50 billion from P9.02 billion a year ago as it cited the “stable economy” as helping the Sy-led firm sustain its profit growth so far this year.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, SM Prime said consolidated revenues during the quarter had expanded to P30.51 billion, higher by 15.5% from P26.42 billion previously.

In the first six months of the year, the firm recorded a 16.1% growth in net income to P19.3 billion from P16.62 billion in the same period last year.

“The country’s stable economy has helped SM Prime maintain its growth in all core businesses for the first half of 2019. We are optimistic to sustain this growth moving forward as we launch new projects with the goal of providing more integrated property developments across the Philippines,” said SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim in a statement.

Consolidated revenues during the first six months rose by 14.6% to P57.05 billion from P49.77 billion in the same period last year, while overall operating income increased by 17.4% to P27.42 billion.

Mall revenues went up by 8.2% to P31.07 billion, which accounted for 55% of the company’s consolidated revenues.

Rental revenues increased by 7.1% to P26.22 billion, driven by the 7% “same-mall-sales growth as well as the increasing contribution from newly opened and expanded malls in 2018.”

Cinema and event ticket sales rose by 9% to P2.81 billion, which the company attributed to summer blockbuster movies such as Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel shown between April and June.

Other revenues, including leisure, entertainment and merchandise sales, climbed by 24% to P2.03 billion.

Mall operating income was up by 10% to P17.45 billion, boosting operating income margin to 56% from 55% a year ago.

SM Prime has 72 malls in the country and seven malls in China for a combined total gross floor area (GFA) of 9.3 million square meters (sq.m.) as of June 2019. It is set to open SM Center Dagupan, SM City Olongapo Central, SM City Butuan and SM Mindpro Citimall in Zamboanga in the second half.

For the residential group, revenues increased by 26% to P21.43 billion, accounting for 38% of consolidated revenues. The company cited the high-rise projects in Metro Manila that were launched from 2016 to 2018 as continuing to drive the growth.

SM Development Corp. (SMDC), the holding firm’s primary residential business unit, posted a 20% increase in reservation sales to P41.46 billion from P34.45 billion.

“This is brought about by the 6% increase in unit sales to 9,877 units from 9,319 units in the same period last year. Lane Residences in Davao City topped the sales during the period, followed by Sail Residences in Pasay City, and Glam Residences in Quezon City,” SM Prime said.

The firm said other business segments also turned “solid contributions,” led by the commercial property group, and hotels and convention centers with a combined revenue growth of 13% to P4.63 billion.

Operating income jumped by 18% to P2.34 billion, while operating income margin improved to 51% from 48% previously.

As of June 2019, SM Prime has 11 office buildings with a combined GFA of 642,000 sqm. Its first campus-building, the NU Tower, in the Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City is set to be launched in the second half this year. Four E-Com Center is scheduled to be launched by 2020.

The hotels and convention centers business unit has seven hotels with more than 1,700 rooms, four convention centers and three trade halls. The unit launched in April the Park Inn by Radisson-Iloilo. It is set to launch Park Inn by Radisson-North EDSA in the second half.

On Monday, shares in SM Prime climbed by 3.13% to close at P39.50 each. — Victor V. Saulon