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Empire East profits recover in Q2

Thursday, August 13, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]


ANDREW L. TAN-led Empire East Land Holdings, Inc. managed to pull back from a poor first-quarter performance because of higher sales from its popular residential projects.

Financial statements showed that the middle-income unit of Mr. Tan’s property firm Megaworld Corp. increased profits by more than half to P28 million from April to June.

First-half profits, however, went down by a third to P50.5 million, with first-quarter profits lower by more than 61.7% to P22.4 million.

Second-quarter revenues also went up by 45% to P493 million, bringing year-to-date sales to P1.04 billion, or an increase of 30%.

"The group registered total real estate sales of P524.6 million during the first half compared with the P319.24 million last year. The sales generated were derived from various projects namely, California Gardens Square, Little Baguio Terraces, Pioneer Woodlands and The Cambridge," Empire East said in a statement yesterday.

Despite higher second quarter, earnings per share of the company went down to P0.0047, from P0.0071 in the same period last year. The stock’s market price is almost P96 for every peso of earnings.

Pointing to the resiliency of the middle-income market, Empire East has allotted a higher budget for the next five years.

The company earlier this year disclosed plans to spend a total of P8 billion to P10 billion, or P2-billion budget for each year, up from the usual yearly capital expenditure of P1.8 billion.

Among the projects the company plans to focus on this year are three "transit-oriented" projects worth P18 billion, namely Pioneer Woodlands in Mandaluyong , Little Baguio Terraces in San Juan, and San Lorenzo Place in Makati.

Pioneer Woodlands is a nine-tower project with 3,200 condominium units and a total of 103,469 square meters (sq. m.).

The project aims to "bring [the MRT-3 commuter train line] to the doorsteps of the Filipinos" through an interlink bridgeway.

It will offer 26-sq.-m. executive studios and two-bedroom homes with sizes ranging from 30 to 40 sq. m.

Meanwhile, Little Baguio will have 1,800 units covering a total of 60,000 sq. m. San Lorenzo will have a total of 2,171 units and 74,000 sq. m.

Empire East will also launch this year its 50-hectare residential project The Sonoma in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

The new project will have 1,148 prime lots in three residential phases, where homeowners can build two-storey houses with classic Mediterranean architecture.

Shares in the company yesterday declined by 2.17% or a centavo to P0.45 per share. — Kristine Jane R. Liu

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