By Richmond S. Mercurio (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 26, 2015 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Property powerhouse Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) plans to put up a slew of new large-scale shopping centers in the next five years as part of the company’s vision 2020 program.
In an interview, ALI chief finance officer Jimmy Ysmael said the property unit of the country’s oldest conglomerate would pursue growing its mall portfolio as it has no intention of being left behind in the battle for mall supremacy in the Philippines.
Ayala malls of the Zobel family, together with SM malls of the Sy family and the Robinsons malls of John Gokongwei Jr.’s clan, are the leaders when it comes to shopping center development in the country.
“There will be a lot of new shopping center developments which is really aligned with our 2020 vision where we intend to expand the portfolio of shopping centers,” Ysmael said.
Ysmael said Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod and Iloilo are the sites outside Metro Manila where ALI is looking to put up its new mall offerings in the coming years.
Within Metro Manila, he said the Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati is a potential location for another Ayala mall.
Ysmael said ALI is not likely to venture into developing small, community malls yet so its upcoming mall developments would continue to be large-scale shopping centers.
“What we are looking at more now is to concentrate in bigger developments because it actually takes the same effort to actually plan, build, and manage a small mall compared to a bigger one. So if you would want to achieve the scale that you want to achieve, we’d rather do it on a bigger manner and we have the land bank to do that, especially within the Metro Manila,” he said.
Aside from building new malls, Ysmael said ALI would also be continuing the expansion of its existing malls.
ALI’s mall portfolio includes the TriNoma mall in Quezon City, Glorietta and Greenbelt shopping centers in Makati, Market Market in Fort Bonifacio, and Marquee mall in Pampanga, to name a few.
Total gross leasable area of all ALI malls across the country stood at 1.33 million square meters as of end September 2014.
It has an average occupancy rate of 93 percent with an average building lease rates of about P1,134 per square meter a month.
“In the case of shopping centers, we normally redevelop every now and then, as what we’re seeing in Ayala center in Makati. Redevelopment continues so we really look at retail as more of an interim use at the end of the day. As the community develops, we can redevelop and increase density,” he said.
ALI’s 2020 vision is to grow its earnings by at least 20 percent annually to achieve a net income of P40 billion by 2020.
Aside from expanding its shopping centers, Ysmael said part of the plan is to aggressively expand ALI’s office, hotel and resort portfolio “to achieve the balance growth between development and recurring income.”