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Panlilio firm’s sales plunge due to Boracay land dispute

By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated

MANILA, Philippines - The ongoing land dispute in its resort in Boracay continues to take its toll on Panlilio-owned property firm Boulevard HoldingsInc (BHI) as sales plunged more than half.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, BHI reported a 55- percent drop in consolidated sales in the first quarter of its fiscal year ending May.

BHI’s consolidated sales in the first three months of its fiscal year plummeted to P13.08 million from P23.87 million during the same period last year.

Likewise, the listed property firm said sales for the month of August alone went down 59 percent to P5.30 million from P9.02 million in the same month a year ago.

“In line with our problems at Friday’s Boracay Beach Resort in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan as previously disclosed, we report the significant negative effect on sales,” BHI said.

BHI operates Friday’s Boracay Beach Resort through subsidiary Friday’s Holdings Inc. (FHI).
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In February this year, almost a third of the land frontage up to the back portion of the resort was overrun by 200 armed civilian men led by Datu Yap and other children of the lot’s former owner.

The armed men have walled off half of the restaurant, occupied 17 rooms in the building, drained the pool, and started walling with hollow blocks lot.

BHI said its directors agreed to pay an additional P95 million to Yap and his siblings but the latter did not accept the offer and instead opted to look for other buyers, resulting to months of land dispute and disruption of operations in Friday’s Boracay Beach Resort.

BHI bought the 1,538 square meter lot for P40 million through a final and executory court settlement in 2009.

In a disclosure to the local bourse on Wednesday, BHI said it paid last Sept. 1 “the sum of P50 million out of a price of P65 million for the land of ex-mayor Yap and his family, including from his Boracay mayor son.”

“This parcel is the middle of our frontage and exactly where our restaurant is located, and contiguous to the now forcibly taken parcel we bought from his sister Mila Yap and son Datu Yap. After this purchase, we virtually own almost all land of Fridays save for one last undivided parcel interest where we have 75 percent majority,” the firm added.

Since the disruption in operations of Friday’s Boracay took place, BHI said its usual weekly sales of about P4 to P5 million with P2-million gross profit have gone down to almost zero in profit.

The company earlier projected P40 to P50-million income from Friday’s Boracay in the fiscal year 2013-2014 that will end in May.

“The end of October up through July next year is our high season for our resort business that we are trying to recover. We only have less than 100 days until Christmas to unblock the barriers and set right the profit direction of BHI,” the company said.

BHI and its subsidiaries, owned by businessman Jose Panlilio, develops real estate such as leisure, hotel, and tourist estates, as well as residential and office condominiums.

Aside from the problems being encountered by its Boracay asset, expansion of its resort development in Puerto Galera has also been by stalled as it still awaits further funding for the project’s completion.

BHI said its Puerto Galera resort development being undertaken by subsidiary Fridays Puerto Galera, Inc. remains “a 65-percent completed resort property” and remains at a standstill following a “disaster” in its Boracay resort earlier this year.

“There are no changes to this unfinished resort placed in ice and awaiting funding. We had informed Langdon & Seah, our project manager, we intend to restart on Feb. 1 next year,” BHI said.

The firm said it is currently awaiting a deal with property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) to be finalized regarding its sale of parcels of land worth P2.3 billion in Puerto Azul.

The Panlilio family last March agreed to sell certain parcels of the 3,000-hectare Puerto Azul complex in Ternate, Cavite to ALI.

BHI said cash generated from the deal will fund the company’s resort branch expansion in Puerto Galera.

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