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Filinvest Land readies projects for Iloilo, CDO lots

Posted on April 27, 2012 07:13:35 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

FILINVEST LAND, Inc. is looking to further expand its core middle-income business in high-growth areas beyond Metro Manila and Cebu, a ranking official said on Friday.

"We have actually acquired land in new locations. We bought land in Iloilo and CDO (Cagayan de Oro City), and we will be doing projects there starting next year," Joseph M. Yap, Filinvest Land president and chief executive, told reporters following the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

"They will be medium-rise residential projects on lots that measure around one hectare each," Mr. Yap said, noting that the developments will be the company’s first projects in those areas.

"We have been looking for land in Iloilo for a long time because demographically, we deem Iloilo as very high-growth. The province has good income levels, and its population base is relatively big. The same goes for CDO in northern Mindanao..." Mr. Yap added.

He went on to hint at improved performance in the first quarter versus yearago levels.

"First quarter sales will be better than last year. For this year, we are still aiming for 15-20% growth for sales and net income. Our strategy will be to focus on our core businesses, rather than be distracted with other types of projects," Mr. Yap said.

Filinvest Land will also be aiming to increase its land bank in order to boost its middle-income portfolio.

"We’re still looking at doing land acquisitions. Most of the land that we’re acquiring now are really more in urban areas, which make them immediately developable into projects. We’re looking mostly at land for medium-rise buildings, which is within a certain middle-income price range," Mr. Yap said.

As of end-2011, the company had a land bank of 2,288 hectares, 84% of which were located in areas of Mega Manila, including the CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region and Bulacan province, said Annabelle D. Arceo, Filinvest Land investor relations head.

For the year, Filinvest Land will launch 12,100 units in 14 new projects, with nearly 40% of which intended for socialized housing. This compares against just 6,500 units from 11 projects launched in 2011, Ms. Arceo said.

The Gotianun-led developer said it earned P2.94 billion in net profits in 2011, 0.34% down from P2.95 billion booked in 2010, mainly due to an increase in total costs and expenses that rose by 18.43% to P6.17 billion from P5.21 billion year-on-year.

Filinvest Land shares plunged 4.20% to P1.37 on Friday from P1.43 at its previous close. -- Franz Jonathan G. de la Fuente

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