SM opens 4th Pampanga mall in provincial push

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SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. opens its fourth mall in Pampanga. — SM

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. is expanding its presence in Pampanga with the opening of its fourth mall in the province on Friday (May 18).

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Sy-led firm said SM City Telabastagan will add 55,000 square meters (sq.m.) of gross floor area (GFA) to its portfolio.

The new mall located along McArthur Highway has two floors containing shopping, multi-cultural dining, entertainment zones, and six digital cinemas. It will also feature staple SM tenants such as The SM Store, SM Supermarket, Uniqlo, Surplus Shop, Watsons, SM Appliance Center, Miniso, Ace Hardware, and BDO and China Bank branches.

SM Prime noted that 84% of SM City Telabastagan’s leasable space has already been awarded to tenants.

“The unwavering support of our fellow Pampangueños and the fast-growing economy of the province have led us to open yet a new mall, this time in Telabastagan,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim was quoted as saying in a statement.

SM City Telabastagan’s opening forms part of the company’s push toward the provinces in a bid to further expand its footprint in the country. By the end of March, SM Prime’s provincial malls now account for 52% of its total revenues, versus a 46% contribution in 2014.

“Alongside our first three malls in the province, SM City Pampanga, SM City Clark, and SM City San Fernando Downtown, we see SM City Telabastagan contributing further to the continuous development of Pampanga, providing both job opportunities and modern lifestyle and entertainment to its residents,” Mr. Lim said.

This brings SM Prime’s total number of malls in the Philippines to 70. It ended 2017 with 67 malls in the Philippines, then opened SM Center Imus in Cavite last February and SM City Urdaneta Central in Pangasinan earlier this month.

The listed company is also set to open SM City Legazpi in Albay and SM Center Ormoc in Leyte within the second half of the year.

SM Prime targets to end the year with a total of 9.7 million sq.m. in terms of GFA, across 73 malls in the Philippines and seven in China. It committed to spend P80 billion in capital expenditures this year to fund this expansion program.

The company’s provincial expansion allowed it to book a 15% profit increase to P7.6 billion in the first quarter of 2018. Revenues likewise gained 14% to P23..4 billion during the period.

Shares in SM Prime went down 3.67% or P1.40 to close at P36.75 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia