By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated August 14, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., the holding company for the real estate businesses of the family of Sen. Manuel Villar, reported only a four percent growth in its second quarter net profit to P658 million even as sales expanded 32 percent on buoyant investor demand.
In a press briefing yesterday, Vista Land’s senior vice-president for finance Ricardo Tan Jr. said real-time sales reached P4.5 billion during the period, up from P3.4 billion the previous year. The group’s statutory income, however, fell 26.5 percent to P435 million from P592 million.
“The rise in our real-time sales for the second quarter reflects the gradual return of consumer confidence and was also given a boost by our highly successful marketing campaign, particularly for Camella.” said Tan, adding that the company has been posting better results every month given the recovery of economies worldwide.
However, in the first half this year, Vista Land reported a 20 percent drop in core income to P1.29 billion. Revenues likewise fell seven percent to P4.88 billion. Statutory income declined to P1.03 billion from P1.54 billion as the company prepaid bulk of its dollar debt obligations.
As of end-June this year, the group had total consolidated assets of P50.2 billion, slightly up from P46.9 billion in the same period a year ago.
Manuel Paolo Villar, Vista Land head for corporate planning, said the second quarter results were within the company’s expectations given a tough business climate. He said the firm is anticipating a drop in both its bottom line and top line this year due to uncertainties in the global and domestic fronts.
Vista Land is the holding company of four business units: Brittany (the group’s high-end subsidiary), Crown Asia (a unit which caters to the middle-income segment), and low-cost housing subsidiaries Camella Homes and Communities Philippines.
Vista Land president Benjamarie Therese Serrano said around 60 percent of the group’s total sales came from Filipino expatriates from Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Villar said the company is cautiously optimistic about the the prospects of the real estate sector for the second half of the year given the steady inflow of remittances from overseas Filipino workers.
For the remainder of the year, Vista Land will launch 16 more projects with an estimated sales value of P12 billion, located in various locations.
“We successfully launched 10 major subdivision projects in the Mega Manila area - valued at about P11 billion. The property sector has shown clear signs of improvement and we hope this will continue to gain momentum for the rest of the year. Although we still remain cautious, we may accelerate project launches during the second half depending on market conditions,” Tan said.
Tan said the company has so far spent P3.9 billion of the total P7.7 billion capex budgeted for the year. “We remain confident about our company’s prospects. Although many developers are attempting to tap the OFW market and compete in 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 explained. “In addition, Vista Land by far has the broadest presence in the Philippines among all the major property developers.”
The company currently has a landbank of 1,771 hectares, sufficient for development over the next 10 years. Of the total, 1,411.6 hectares are owned by the company while the balance of 359.8 hectares are joint ventures.