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Megaworld unit sees sales growing 40% to P7 billion

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated March 26, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Suntrust Properties Inc., a unit of Megaworld Corp., said it expects its sales to grow by 40 percent this year to P7 billion as it goes full blast on residential condominium development.

In an interview, Suntrust president Harrison M. Paltongan said the company is embarking on an aggressive expansion of its vertical products to meet the strong demand for affordable residential condominiums. Around 10,000 new units will be added to the firm’s inventory this year to boost sales.

“We made less than P5 billion last year. We’re looking at significantly increasing that given the pace we’re going, P7 billion should be attainable,” he said.

Paltongan said next year’s earnings would even be much bigger since some of the company’s projects would start contributing to its books in 2012.

“Right now, our goal is to launch at least one project per month. This year will definitely be a very significant one for us as we lay the groundwork for a successful, high-growth future,” he said.

Paltongan explained that the company used to be conservative, focusing on the development of residential subdivisions in Dasmariñas, Gen. Trias and Silang, in Cavite.

While demand for the high-end segment of the market will remain strong this year, Paltongan noted that the bigger market is with affordable condominium developments given the pent-up demand for units priced at P50,000-P65,000 per square meter depending on the project location.

“More companies have been shifting their focus on the development of affordable condos. The challenge is how to make these condo units more affordable and distinct while keeping the quality,” Paltongan said.

He said flexible payment terms and low interest rates offered by banks boost demand for this niche market of affordable condominiums.

Among the compay’s projects in the pipeline are Suntrust Shanata, a 12-tower mid-rise building that will rise on a three-hectare property in Novaliches; and two more medium-rise projects in Pasig and Quezon City.

Targeted for launch next month, Shanata will offer at least 3,000 units, with sizes ranging from 30 to 50 sqm. Units will be sold at P60,000 per sqm. The first two towers are expected to be completed three years after the project’s launch. Construction of the entire project will take 10 years.

The Pasig project, located near a cathedral, will feature three towers, offering at least 1,000 modern Asian-inspired units.

The project in Quezon City, on the other hand, shall make available around 1,200 units.

To ensure continued growth and expand its reach, Suntrust is looking at new areas like Paranaque due to its proximity to Makati.

Since its inception in 1997, Suntrust has gone a long way in providing affordable homes and master-planned communities to the Filipino market.

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