By Zinnia B. Dela Peña Updated May 15, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
MANILA, Philippines - Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., the holding firm for most of the real estate assets of the family of Sen. Manuel Villar, reported a core net income of P630 million in the first quarter this year, down 19 percent from the previous level, on lower revenues.
In a press briefing yesterday, Vista Land senior vice-president for finance Ricardo B. Tan Jr. said the company’s statutory net income (inclusive of net foreign exchange transactions) fell 22 percent to P592 million as real estate revenues dropped 6.49 percent to P2.45 billion.
However, Manuel Paolo Villar, Vista Land head for corporate planning, said the first quarter results were within the company’s expectations given a tough business climate.
In fact, Villar said the company expects a slight decline in revenues this year due to the uncertainties in the global and local markets.
He noted though that there has been an improvement in the property firm’s sales in the past two months but said this was not indicative of future performance.
“We have seen a rebound in sales in the last two months. It’s a good sign but at the same time we do not know what will happen in the Philippines given developments overseas. We’re keeping our estimates fairly conservative,” Villar said.
For her part, Vista Land president Benjamarie Therese Serrano said the company will stick to its bread-and-butter business — the development of affordable/low-end housing units — which has provided a steady and reliable source of income for the firm.
The group’s low-cost housing units, Camella Homes and Communities Philippines Inc., accounted for 34 percent and 31 percent, respectively, of total revenues.
Meanwhile, its middle-income to high-end residential subsidiaries accounted for 18 percent and 17 percent, respectively.
Tan said nearly 60 percent of the group’s total sales came from overseas Filipino workers, indicating that demand for affordable housing remains resilient despite the global economic crisis.
“We remain confident about our company’s prospects…Although many developers are attempting to move into the more affordable housing market where demand has been stable, we believe Vista Land has a strong competitive advantage given the track record and popularity of our Camella brand,” he said.
Tan pointed out that that the company by far has the largest presence in the Philippines among all the major property developers — 17 provinces and 41 cities and municipalities.
During the period under review, Vista Land launched two major subdivision projects in Mega Manila valued at about P2 billion.