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Rockwell Land shares surge on first trading day

Posted on May 11, 2012 06:36:07 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

ROCKWELL LAND Corp. bucked the market’s downtrend on Friday, with its share prices more than tripling at the close of its first trading day amid announcements the property developer was looking to grow profits by 20% this year.

Rockwell Land shares closed at P4.90 apiece, up 235.62% from its initial price after hitting an intraday high of P7.71 on the same day. The firm had listed by way of introduction 6.23 billion common shares totaling P9.1 billion on the stock exchange’s first board, resulting into a public float of 14.9%.

In contrast, the Philippine Stock Exchange index shed 0.65% or 33.96 points to close at 5,158.14, while the broader all-share index dipped by 0.49% or 16.91 points to close at 3,405.22.

Listing by introduction is a method that allows firms to have shares traded in the PSE without having to immediately conduct an initial public offering (IPO). No fundraising was involved in the transaction.

CLSA Exchange Capital, Inc. served as financial adviser for the transaction.

For 2012, Rockwell Land is looking at double-digit growth on the back of sustained sales from its ongoing and existing properties.

"We would like to break the P1 billion [net income] level in 2012. So I think that would be at least 20% growth for this year," Nestor J. Padilla, Rockwell Land president, told reporters at a briefing yesterday.

This translates into a full-year net income target of approximately P1.10 billion for 2012.

The company met earlier-announced goals in 2011, recording a 14.23% profit growth to P915 million as revenues climbed to P6.15 billion versus P4.89 billion year-on-year on the back of higher sales from condominium units.

"The growth of Rockwell [Land] this year will really be driven by two reasons: one is our development income out of the condominiums that we develop and sell to the market, while the other half is driven by our mall earnings," Mr. Padilla said.

Moving forward, Rockwell Land is open to further fundraising via an equity sale in the future, as well as project expansions beyond Metro Manila.

"We may look in Cebu and even Davao. That’s being looked at by our business development people. In Metro Manila, we have also been acquiring some good properties," said Manuel M. Lopez, Rockwell Land chairman.

"We are contemplating bringing the brand of Rockwell into the serviced apartment and hotel management business. Our first attempt to be in the tourism segment is in Edaes where we designed it to have four floors of serviced apartments," Mr. Lopez added, noting that the apartments will be operational by December of 2014.

This year, Rockwell Land said it is launching three projects: Greater Rockwell, a 3.6-hectare, mixed-use expansion of its flagship 15.5-hectare Rockwell Center district in Makati City; Lopez Tower, which is intended to be the headquarters of the firms under the Lopez Group; and 205 Santolan, a 1.8-hectare low-density townhouse development, the company’s first project in Quezon City.

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