Friday, 18 March 2011

Megaworld profits up 25% on strong rental sales

Neil Jerome C. Morales

MEGAWORLD Corp. profits hit a record P5.1 billion in 2010 after growing a quarter from year-ago levels due to strong revenue flows from its rental divisions, the Andrew L. Tan-led developer said in a statement yesterday.

Net income rose to P5.085 billion last year from P4.07 billion in 2009, the company said in a statement yesterday.

It also topped the P3.79 billion earned in 2008 before the financial crisis hit the real economy.

This, after consolidated revenues grew 16% to P17.8 billion in 2010 from the year before, Megaworld said.

Rental sales -- generated from the firm’s spaces for retail and business process outsourcing offices -- comprised P2.7 billion of the revenues, up by roughly a third from P2 billion in 2009.

As of end-December 2010, the company boasted of 384,000 square meters of office space in its portfolio. It is expected to complete another 78,000 square meters of space this year, earlier reports show.

The rise in revenues offset the 13% hike in expenses to P15.46 billion which Megaworld attributed to costs for real estate sales, operating expenses, interest and other charges, tax expenses and hotel operations.

It went on to claim an improvement in efficiency and profitability, noting that the firm ended the year with P22 billion in cash, up 6% from 2009.

Moving forward, Megaworld said it was upbeat about performance this year given improved prospects for the property sector and the wider Philippine economy.

The property firm “remains very bullish about the prospects of the Philippine economy, as well as the Philippine real estate industry,” said Mr. Tan, chairman and chief executive of Megaworld.

“Our township developments that follow a live-work-play-learn model has become very popular among buyers because it offers a lifestyle of convenience,” Megaworld First Vice-President Francisco C. Canuto added in the same statement.

“On top of that, Megaworld has a proven track record in the industry as it has delivered more than 220 buildings to its customers over the last two decades,” Mr. Canuto added.

The company is currently developing seven projects within Metro Manila including residential developments in Makati and San Juan.

Megaworld accounts for the bulk of earnings of listed conglomerate Alliance Global Group, Inc., whose net income is projected to surge by 38% to P6.62 billion last year, according to earlier reports.

Alliance Global holds the local McDonald’s fastfood franchise through its unit Golden Arches Development Corp. The holding firm also owns Emperador Distillers, Inc., which produces brandy labels Emperador, Generoso and The Bar.

Alliance Global has a joint venture with Genting Hong Kong Ltd., the third-largest cruise line operator in the world” Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc., which is developing the eight-hectare Resorts World Manila complex in Pasay.

Shares in Megaworld, which has a market value of P55.38 billion, closed seven centavos lower at P2.09 each yesterday.

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