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Sta. Lucia Land recovers in the first quarter

Monday, May 25, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]


LISTED REAL estate developer Sta. Lucia Land, Inc. turned around in the first quarter with record sales from its joint venture deals and new assets last year, when the company was in the process of a reorganization.

The firm, headed by businessman Exequiel D. Robles, ended the January to March period with P5.29 million in net income compared to the P85.02-million loss incurred last year, when it was unable to book revenues.

With the reorganization complete, Sta. Lucia Land booked P90.35 million in revenues in the first quarter, which it attributed to asset sales and new joint venture agreements implemented during the latter part of 2008.

The firm’s real estate sales reached P66.27 million during the first quarter, while rental revenues from its mall hit P22.73 million.

"The company is embarking on the sale of its infused assets and new joint venture products which will greatly influence the sales performance for the year 2009," the firm said.

"Mall operations may remain flat as consumer spending seems to slow down but may rebound during the third and fourth quarter as the national elections in 2010 will bring liquidity to the market as a result of increased economic activity," it added.

Operating expenses for the first quarter of 2009 were almost unchanged at P85.06 million, but the firm explained that the two figures were incomparable. First-quarter costs were mostly project-related, while expenses last year were due to the reorganization.

The property developer said sales of subdivision lots have not been affected by the economic slowdown because of the country’s housing backlog especially in some provincial areas where demand remains strong.

Sta. Lucia Land said it would be aiming for Middle East-based migrant workers to improve sales, with new marketing efforts being undertaken to improve market share.

"The [overseas Filipino workers] market is still the biggest contributor to the improvement of the [company’s] business because of product affordability, location, pricing, availability of in-house financing, and dependability," it said.

The company said it is developing 12 vertical and horizontal projects with affiliate Sta. Lucia Realty Development, Inc.

Sta. Lucia Land’s shares closed P0.13 higher to P0.88 on Friday. — D.G.K. Carreon

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