SM to open 4 new malls

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SM Prime Holdings, Inc. is planning to open new malls in the provinces.

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. plans to open four malls in the provinces this year, while ramping up its land banking efforts for the development of more lifestyle cities in the future.

In a presentation posted on its website Wednesday, SM Prime said it will open SM Center Dagupan, SM City Olongapo Central, SM City Butuan, and SM Mindpro Citimall in Zamboanga City in 2019.

The new malls will have a combined gross floor area (GFA) of 179,000 square meters (sq.m.), bringing SM Prime’s shopping mall count to 76 in the Philippines and seven in China.

The Sy-led firm will also be expanding SM City Baguio and SM City Fairview, adding about 46,000 sq.m. and 32,000 sq.m. in GFA, respectively.

The company noted that its new malls will be located in the provinces moving forward, as part of its strategy to take advantage of the economic growth in the regions.

“SM Prime’s mall expansion is geared toward the provinces. The focus is to cover most of Northern Luzon, Visayas, and the progressive cities in Mindanao,” the company said.

The company’s malls in Metro Manila currently account for 42% of its GFA, 37% comes from Luzon, while 13% and 8% are in Visayas and Mindanao, respectively.

Meanwhile, the firm does not have any new malls lined up in China this year, where it operates seven malls covering a GFA of 1.3 million sq.m. It noted, however, that future expansion plans will focus in Fujian province.

Combined with its malls in China, SM Prime aims to end the year with 10.5 million sq.m. in GFA, nine percent higher year-on-year.

Meanwhile, SM Development Corp. (SMDC) looks to end the year with 72 projects, which will increase its sales by 10% to 21,145 units year-on-year.

Majority of SMDC’s land bank is in the provinces, at 432 hectares, compared to only 82 hectares in Metro Manila.

SM Prime’s leisure homes unit meanwhile has six projects in the pipeline this year, bringing its total number of units to 351, 32% higher year-on-year. Its land bank covers 542 hectares in the provinces.

“(We will) increase acquisition of large-scale strategic land bank to develop more lifestyle cities,” the company listed as one of its key strategies for the year, adding that leisure projects are for medium-term development.

For its commercial segment, SM Prime looks to end the year with 681,000 sq.m. across nine towers.

The hotel business will also be launching two new projects for the year, bringing its room count to 2,049.

“Our expansion program should allow us to sustain double-digit income growth over the next three years. The growth will be driven by malls and residential operations complemented by our other businesses,” the company said.

SM Prime booked a net income attributable to the parent of P23.44 billion in the first nine months of 2018, 17% higher year-on-year. Gross revenues meanwhile jumped by 15% to P74.56 billion.

Shares in SM Prime gained 0.63% or 25 centavos to close at P39.70 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday.