‘Resilient’ portfolio helps Sia’s firms record profit growth

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MerryMart Consumer Corp. debuted at the stock market on Monday. The listing ceremony was attended by (from left) MerryMart Chief Executive Officer Edgar “Injap” J. Sia II, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and Philippine Stock Exchange President and CEO Ramon S. Monzon.

By Adam J. Ang

Two listed companies of Edgar J. Sia II recorded profit growth in the second quarter with DoubleDragon Properties Corp. doubling its bottom line on the operations of its “resilient” leasable portfolio.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Friday, MerryMart Consumer Corp. posted a 23.91% increase in consolidated net income in the first half of the year to P13.67 million with total net revenues jumping 35.18% to P1.64 billion.

The grocery operator is rethinking its expansion plans to adapt to the so-called “new normal” spurred by the pandemic. “The team locates its branches in strategic locations factoring the post-pandemic new normal scenario,” Mr. Sia said.

The company is set to launch its online platform within the present quarter, while it is opening its first drive-thru outlet in Iloilo City in January 2021. Similar concepts will be launched in “various major thoroughfares” soon, the company official said.

On Aug. 8, it opened the doors of its two latest branches in Mindanao, bringing its total store count to nine. 17 more stores are in the pipeline so it can have a portfolio of 25 branches by yearend.

Meanwhile, DoubleDragon said its total net income grew twice to P4.40 billion in the first semester, with consolidated revenues climbing 45% to P8.11 billion as its leasable portfolio proved “resilient” during the lockdown phase.

Sans fair value gains, the property developer’s earnings were stable, while core profits increased by five times to P578.29 million from P114.60 previously.

“As COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) quarantine measures are prolonged, consumer behavior is also altered, and most likely to stay. DoubleDragon is grateful that its portfolio has been tested to be truly resilient during this pandemic,” Mr. Sia said.

The company noted “high” occupancy in its three-star Hotel 101, as it has accommodated business process outsourcing (BPO) firm employees who continuously work during the quarantine period.

It also highlighted the relevance of its CentralHub industrial warehouse complexes at a time when “the impairment of mobility made consumer companies realize the importance of having warehousing facilities in various parts of the country in order to maintain efficient logistics.” “The company has a strong balance sheet and is capitalizing in the strength of its financial position in light of these unsettled times,” Mr. Sia said.

Moreover, DoubleDragon is now in “advance preparations” for the filing of its real estate investment trust offering, which will list its first basket of mature income-generating assets, according to DoubleDragon Chief Investment Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini.

On Friday, shares in MerryMart grew by 2.73% to close at P3.01 each, while DoubleDragon’s shares were unchanged at P15.00 apiece.