By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

BOUTIQUE developer Arthaland Corp. is set to turn over the first 15 levels of its Cebu Exchange project to buyers by the fourth quarter of the year.

Despite work stoppage due to quarantine measures following the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Arthaland Vice-Chairman and President Jaime C. Gonzalez said the company has made substantial work in its projects to follow delivery targets as previously set.

“Phase 1 of Cebu Exchange, which is up to level 15 out of the total 38 floors, is expected to start handover to buyers by the early fourth quarter of this year,” Mr. Gonzalez told stockholders in a virtual meeting on June 26.

“We’ve retained project target delivery dates despite work stoppage because we have built in sufficient flexibility in our timelines and because we have chosen to work with top-tier contractors,” he added.

Cebu Exchange is touted as a “green office building” located in Cebu I.T. Park, Cebu City. It is Arthaland’s first venture in the southern part of the Philippines and is seen to attract business process outsourcing locators in the region.

The completion of Cebu Exchange, along with Arthaland’s other large projects, namely Savya Financial Center in Taguig City and Sevina Park in Laguna, are seen to tide the company’s finances throughout the pandemic.

“We note about 88% of the growth strategy of our Five-Times-in-Five-Years plan is already accounted for by Cebu Exchange, Savya and Sevina Park. Given the current status of these projects, we have high confidence that Arthaland will achieve the growth target as planned,” Mr. Gonzalez said.

In 2018, Arthaland launched a plan to raise its gross floor area to a little over 500,000 square meters from 100,000 square meters, which would expand the company’s development portfolio by five times within the next five years.

Mr. Gonzalez said even with the pandemic, the company believes it will fulfill this target, considering the accomplishment of fund raising activities prior to the virus outbreak. “Arthaland raised a total of P5 billion which will provide substantially all the liquidity required for Arthaland’s projects in the near term,” he said.

“The recurring income of the company is more than sufficient to cover our operating costs, and we are quite happy about it. Over time, we expect that our recurring revenues will increase substantially,” he also said.

Arthaland booked an attributable net income of P10.34 million in the first quarter, down 95% from a year ago, despite a revenue growth of 24% to P577.21 million. The increase in the topline was due to revenue recognition from new office projects, while the bottomline decline was attributed to operational disruption and lower sales reservations and bookings due to the lockdown.

Shares in the company at the stock exchange picked up two centavos or 3.77% to close at 55 centavos each on Friday.