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Ayala’s Cebu property unit to focus on outsourcing

Vol. XXII, No. 191 [ BusinessWorld Online ]

Friday, May 1, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES

CEBU CITY — Ayala-led property developer Cebu Holdings, Inc. will focus this year on projects catering to the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector, especially at the Asiatown IT Park developed by its subsidiary.

"We anticipate an even higher demand for (BPO) office space as companies cut back and look for cheaper alternatives for their operations. Thus, we will be strengthening our efforts to bring in additional leasable space as well as increase initiatives to encourage more locators in these areas," Cebu Holdings President Francis O. Monera told stockholders on Wednesday.

He later told reporters that Cebu Holdings subsidiary Cebu Property Ventures and Development Corp. would develop this year a seven-hectare lot in Asiatown.

Newly installed Cebu Holdings Chairman Antonino T. Aquino said other vertical and retail projects would follow BPO-oriented investments.

"It’s always our conscious initiative to complement BPOs not just with infrastructure but retail as well. We’re focusing on BPOs because this industry is Cebu’s competitive advantage through the years. Even if the growth of the country has slowed down, BPOs continued to grow and even retail fared well," Mr. Aquino said.

Mr. Monera noted that the growth in the retail sector was fuelled by consumers employed in BPO and information technology industries.

Cebu Holdings reported P1.5 billion in consolidated revenues and P399.5-million net income for 2008, 59% higher than in 2007. Return on equity was 10%, higher than the previous year’s 7% and the company’s strongest level since the Asian financial crisis in 1997.

"Real estate from commercial and residential lot sales accounts for 49% of total consolidated revenues while leasing revenues account for 44%. The remaining revenues represent equity earnings in associates, interest, and other income," said Mr. Monera.

Commercial lot revenues came from the sale of a 1.6-hectare lot at the Cebu Business Park and six lots at the Asiatown IT Park in the early part of 2008. The sale of 45 lots in Amara North, an exclusive lighthouse community being developed by the company in Liloan town, accounted for last year’s residential segment revenues. — Regina T. Aguilar


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