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Ayala Land-Rustan venture to spend P80M to start FamilyMart chain

Posted on November 09, 2012 08:39:44 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
THE JOINT VENTURE of Ayala Land, Inc. and the Rustan Group plans to spend about P80 million to build around 30 FamilyMart convenience stores by the end of next year, an official said on Friday.

  “For the first year, next year, we’re aiming for an initial 30 [FamilyMart] stores. We’re still in the process of setting up the structures, and this is something that we feel is essential to enable us to develop more our mixed-use developments,” Jaime E. Ysmael, Ayala Land chief finance officer, told reporters following a public dialogue on foreign ownership restrictions at the Securities and Exchange Commission building in Mandaluyong City.

Last Tuesday, SIAL CVS Retailers, Inc. -- a partnership between Varejo Corp. and Specialty Investments, Inc., wholly owned units of Ayala Land and Rustan-led Store Specialists, respectively -- signed a shareholders agreement with Japanese firms FamilyMart Co., Ltd. and Itochu Corp. for the development and operation of FamilyMart stores in the country.

“Initial outlay that we need for next year is around P80 million. In the next five years, perhaps less than P300 million, not really a big amount,” Mr. Ysmael added, noting that “a couple of hundred stores” would be Ayala Land’s goal in the next few years.

“As you know, convenience stores are key elements, not just for malls, but also for BPO (business process outsourcing) buildings and residential communities. We’d like to have those as ready anchors in providing the needs of our developments,” Mr. Ysmael said.

In the near-term, Ayala Land said its latest venture should be able to compete with rivals like 7-Eleven of the Paternos and Ministop of the Gokongweis.

“We believe that by tying up with the right partners, we should be able to complete with the market,” Mr. Ysmael said when asked about FamilyMart’s prospects versus local convenience store players 7-Eleven and Ministop.

For 2012, Ayala Land had allotted a record P37 billion in capital expenditures (capex) to fund around 67 new projects with an estimated sales value of P90 billion, as well as for the acquisition of new properties.

“Our capex level will remain high as we move forward,” Mr. Ysmael said without elaborating when asked on capital spending next year.

The listed property developer grew its net income by 26.58% to P6.62 billion as of September from P5.23 billion in the same nine months last year. In the same comparative periods, revenues rose 19.55% to P39.01 billion from P32.63 billion, while costs and expenses increased 16.61% to P28.93 billion from P24.81 billion.

Ayala Land shares shed 25 centavos or 1.08% to P22.90 apiece on Friday from P23.15 last Thursday. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente         

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