By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated March 22, 2010 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Shang Properties Inc., the local real estate development arm of Malaysian conglomerate Kuok Group, said its net earnings reached an all time high of P1.17 billion last year on robust sales from the recently-completed St. Francis Shangri-La Place, as well as higher income from lease operations.
The 2009 net income is 33.2 percent higher than the P879.8 million recorded the previous year, the company said.
Vicente P. Formoso, vice-president and chief finance officer of Shang Properties, said the record income performance was due to higher condominium unit sales from the twin-tower, 60-storey St. Francis Shangri-La Place.
Located within the company’s 8.6-hectare property in Ortigas Center, the P5 billion St. Francis Shangri-La Place has sold 98 percent of the total 1,152 units since its launch in November 2005 and continues to attract buyers.
St. Francis Shangri-La Place – Shang Properties’ second residential project — is currently the tallest residential skyscraper in the country with a height of 212.88 meters.
Increased rentals from The Enterprise Center in Makati and the Shangri-La Plaza mall in Mandaluyong likewise boosted income growth.
Given its strong performance last year, Shang Properties has approved the issuance of cash dividends amounting to P262 million, bringing the total dividends issued for 2009 to P410 million or an increase of 48 percent from the year before.
Formoso said the company is looking forward to a much better year than last year as the economic outlook improves.
He said the real estate market has picked up with investors getting back on the acquisition trail. “We’re optimistic about our prospects moving forward given the increased interest of buyers on our residential projects,” he said.
Shang Properties marketing manager Milen G. Treichler said the stellar sales at St. Francis Shangri-La Place reinforces investors’ strong confidence in the company’s projects, which are handpicked to ensure they meet clients’ discerning taste and personal needs.
Other investments of the Kuok Group in the Philippines include four Shangri-La hotels and resorts (Makati Shangri-La, Edsa Shangri-La, Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa in Cebu, and Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort and Spa).
Shang Properties ventured into the residential condominium market in 2002 with the P2-billion, 46-story Shang Grand Tower as its initial project. The project was well received, completed in record time, and has since completely sold out.