By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated February 20, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - SM Prime Holdings Inc., the country’s largest retail landlord, said its net earnings rose nearly 10 percent last year to P7.02 billion despite a tough financial landscape.
In a statement, SM Prime said revenues reached P20.5 billion from January to December 2009, up 15 percent from P17.82 billion the previous year, with lease operations accounting for 86 percent of total.
Rental revenues grew 15 percent to P17.66 billion, largely due to new mall openings and the expansion of existing shopping centers. Same-store sales, though, improved by only five percent.
On the other hand, cinema ticket sales expanded 13.5 percent to P2.1 billion.
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) reached P14 billion, 14 percent higher than the year-earlier figure, for an EBITDA margin of 68 percent. Income from operations amounted to P10.8 billion or an increase of 12 percent.
SM Prime said its financial results include the operations of the three SM malls in China, located in the cities of Xiamen and Jinjiang in Southern China, and Chengdu in Central China.
“Due to the continued support and patronage of our customers, SM Prime again met its targets for 2009 despite the challenges brought about by the global recession and a series of natural calamities that affected most of Luzon in the latter part of the year,” Hans T. Sy, president of SM Prime said.
Operating expenses went up 19 percent to P9.7 billion, largely due to expenses related to mall expansion.
Last year, SM Prime opened three malls — SM City Naga in Camarines Sur, SM Center Las Piñas in Metro Manila, and SM City Rosario in Cavite. It also expanded SM City Rosales in Pangasinan, SM City Fairview and SM North EDSA through its Sky Garden. The Sky Garden further reinforced the dominant position of SM North EDSA as it emerged as the largest mall in the country.
As of end-December last year, the retail giant had a total gross floor area of 4.5 million square meters or an increase of 226,000 sqm or five percent from the year earlier figure.
For 2010, SM Prime is slated to open five new malls — SM City Novaliches in Quezon City; SM City Tarlac; SM Supercenter Masinag in Antipolo City, Rizal; and SM City Calamba and SM Supercenter San Pablo, both in the province of Laguna – to end the year with a total of 41 malls with an estimated GFA of 4.8 million sqm.
SM Prime is also scheduled to open its fourth mall in China, SM Suzhou, in the fourth quarter of the year.
Located in the province of Jiangsu. SM Suzhou will have a GFA of approximately 70,000 sqm.