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Property developer hopes for better sales this year

Posted on April 22, 2013 10:25:39 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
PROPERTY DEVELOPER Belle Corp. expects to post “significant” gains in sales this year on the back of expansion of its projects in Tagaytay City.
“We are optimistic we can achieve a significant turnaround in real estate sales in 2013,” Rogelio R. Cabuñag, Belle president, said in the firm’s 2012 annual report.
“Your corporation will be turning over three Tagaytay Highlands projects to homeowners in 2013 while we look forward to an expansion of Sycamore Heights in Lakeside Fairways. Belle will also be raising the bar by increasing the number of 18-hole international championship golf courses in Tagaytay Highlands to three, each with its own clubhouse and recreational facilities,” Mr. Cabuñag was quoted as saying, referring to the company’s developments in Tagaytay City.
Belle more than doubled its net income to P555.45 million last year from P200.46 million in 2011 on a one-time gain from now-defunct subsidiary Belle Bay City Corp., but saw a 39.49% drop in recurring revenues -- consisting of sales of real estate and club shares as well as lease income -- to P421.49 million from P696.52 million in the same comparative periods.
Manuel A. Gana, Belle executive vice-president and chief financial officer, declined to elaborate on Belle’s projected “significant turnaround” this year, but said the company’s first-quarter earnings, which he described as “fantastic,” could set the pace for the rest of 2013.
“You’ll see our performance in our first quarter financials which we will file tomorrow. It will be fantastic,” Mr. Gana told reporters following the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting at Sofitel Philippine Plaza yesterday.
Asked if Belle’s positive first-quarter results could be replicated for the rest year, he replied, “We hope so.”
Belle will be refurbishing a number of its projects in the Tagaytay Highlands complex. “Tagaytay Highlands has embarked on an extensive multimillion-peso renovation of its food and beverage outlets at the Golf Club House, as well as the facilities at Camp Highlands. The second phase of this renovation covers improvements in Tagaytay Midlands, Sports Center, Highlander Steakhouse, Highlands Inn, and The Spa and Lodge, and will commence during the first half of 2013,” the company’s annual report read.
“That’s something you pretty much have to do periodically. It’s incumbent upon us and club management to ensure they are maintained to world-class standards,” Mr. Gana said.
Belle, incorporated in 1973, entered the property sector with the development of Tagaytay Highlands International Golf Club in 1989, according to its Web site. Belle is currently devoting “significant resources” for the mid-2014 completion of Belle Grande Manila Bay, a resort-casino project which will rise on a 6.2-hectare site in Entertainment City near Manila Bay. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente

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