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SMIC seeks to cement mall leadership

Published on 03 November 2012  [ ]
Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor Reporter

SM Investment Corp. (SMIC) will build one mall per year in China, and three to six malls in the Philippines starting this year, which will solidify its position as the largest mall developer in the country.

“In 2012, we will build one mall per year in China because we don’t want to overdo ourselves,” said Cora Guidote, SMIC investor relations senior vice president, in a recently held COL Financial briefing.

She said that SM malls in China are very profitable and have contributed 9 percent to SMIC’s profits.

“We are also going to open biggest mall in China and it is approximately 542,000 square meters [in space],” Guidote added.

She explained that another three malls will be built in China in the coming years and these will be located in Chongging, which will be built in December; Zibo, which is set to open around 2014; and Tianjin, which will be considered the largest SM mall and may be launched at around 2014 as well.

In the Philippines, Guidote said that SM is eyeing more areas where they could do expansion, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We are trying to expand as fast as we can and we will try to build three to six malls a year,” she said.

“In terms of debt ratios, we are very conservative so we don’t want to go beyond 50 percent,” Guidote added.

SMIC, according to Guidote, is also seeing growth opportunities in the Visayas and Mindanao, and they will most likely build malls there in the future.

There are currently 46 SM malls all over the country.

“The malls did very well than expected,” she added.

In September, SMIC said that it will launch six additional malls in China in the next three to four years, which will bring to 10 the total number of SM malls in that country. The company currently has four malls in China.

Its malls in China posted a substantial 30-percent increase in revenues to P1.3 billion in the first half of the year, and contributed 9 percent to SMIC’s consolidated revenues.

Guidote also noted that SMIC is seeing immense opportunities for growth in the Philippines, which is why they are going to invest more in different sectors in the future.

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