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Villar to expand property, mall units

By Neil Jerome C. Morales (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 25, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The real estate and retailing units of the family of Sen. Manuel B. Villar are positioned for more expansion this year given the robust economy.
Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc. will tap 12 new locations in the country while Starmalls Inc. will increase its shopping malls and convenience stores, its founder said.
“We are opening in more areas this year like in Pagadian and Ozamis, minimum of 12 areas this year,” Vista Land chairman and founder Manuel B. Villar said on the sidelines of the Punongbayan & Araullo’s 25th anniversary celebration.
“Right now we have covered the entire country, but additional 12 will make us saturate the country,” Villar said.
To date, Vista Land is present in 31 provinces and 63 cities and municipalities around the country. Last month, the company launched the Camella Ozamiz, Caribbean-themed community in Ozamiz, one of the most progressive cities in Mindanao.
Villar said Vista Land is poised to post another double-digit growth this year.
The company should record its third straight year of double-digit growth this year, Villar said.
“We definitely had a good year in 2012. We met our target, slightly higher,” Villar said.
Riding on the wave of a booming property market, Vista Land targets a net income of P4.2 billion and P16 billion in revenues for 2012, which would be 19 percent and 18 percent higher, respectively, from 2011.
In the past 35 years, Vista Land has completed more than 250,000 housing units. It has a strategically located land bank of almost 2,000 hectares nationwide.
Vista Land is the holding company of five business units: Brittany, Crown Asia, Camella Homes, Communities Philippines and Vista Residences.
For the retailing business, Villar said four to five new Starmalls will be put up this year.
Last year, the Starmall group started its P15-billion capital expenditure program over the next five years as it embarks on a nationwide expansion which will include the opening of new malls in Visayas and Mindanao.
In April 2012, or barely three months after the termination of its rehabilitation program, holding firm Manuela Corp. opened its newest mall, Starmall San Jose del Monte, a three-level structure with gross floor area of 35,700 square meters (sqm.) and the first shopping complex in the biggest city in Bulacan.
The project brought Manuela’s mall portfolio to five, with an aggregate gross floor area of 363,000 sqm. and 1,777 tenants.
Finds convenience store will also double its outlets to 100 this year, focusing on Metro Manila, Villar said.
Given low interest rates, Villar said Vista Land might tap the debt market while Starmall is looking to secure funds through debt and equity.
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