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Highlands Prime sees rebound

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated April 26, 2011 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Highlands Prime Inc. (HPI), an upscale leisure property development firm controlled by the family of retail tycoon Henry Sy, expects to bounce back this year with earnings seen to grow 200 to 300 percent on the back of P1.2 billion in sales.
In an interview following the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting yesterday, HPI president Henry Sy Jr. said the company, which reported a drop in earnings in 2010, would perform better this year as it sells the remaining inventory of the expanded phases of its existing projects, as well as from a 172-hectare property in Canlubang, Laguna.
Sy said the company is excited about its venture into the high-end primary home market with its Canlubang property, which it intends to develop into an eco-friendly community that features high-end primary homes and commercial centers.
“This landmark development will be HPI’s flagship project for primary homes and is envisioned to be a mixed-use residential estate. With the opening of the Skyway which cuts travel time to just one hour or one and a half hours, I feel that Tagaytay is still the preferred vacation destination of the public,” Sy said.
Adjacent to the Canlubang Golf Club and extending into the Tagaytay Highlands, the property was bought by the company for around P900 million. The company will be offering lots only which can be sold at P1,500 to P2,000 per square meter.
“In this new decade, we remain steadfast in our vision to be the leading developer of first-rate, themed and high-end residential properties. Thus, we are committed to enhance and build on what we have already established by broadening our product range and offerings, thereby providing our clients with more and better choices for quality homes,” Sy said.
Last year, HPI posted a net income of P8.22 million, down 65.75 percent from the 2009 level on lower real estate sales. Revenues from real estate fell 61.15 percent to P427.37 million, largely due to low reservation sales and low average construction completion rate of sold units.
Cost of sales decreased 73 percent to P230.3 million from P846.7 million in 2009.
Operating expenses though went down to P159.41 million from P174.62 million even as interest expense climbed to P71.52 million from P62.79 million.
As of end-December last year, HPI’s total assets expanded seven percent to P5.02 billion, primarily due to the increase in receivables by 16 percent to P1.27 billion.
HPI expects to sell all the remaining lots with the construction of the model unit of Phase 1 of Hillside. The company estimates revenues of about P120 million from the sale of the remaining inventory.
The company is also eyeing over P1 billion in revenues from the Woodrige Place Phase 2, located at the Tagaytay Highlands adjacent to The Woodridge and Woodridge Place Phase 1. Construction has already started for this two-midrise-tower development which will have a total of 88 units.
HPI expects to sell all remaining Midlands projects inventory this year with about P473 million in projected sales.
Development of Sierra Lago at Tagaytay Midlands is also ongoing. Launched in November 2010, Sierra Lago’s architectural theme is modern Mediterranean and will have Mt. Makiling and the Highlands mountain range as backdrops and the fairways of the Midlands golf course and Taal Lake as view corridors. This has 187 lots of approximately 200-300 square meter cuts.
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