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Robinsons Land to open 10 new provincial malls in next 2 years

Posted on October 22, 2015 10:42:00 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
By Krista A. M. Montealegre, Reporter

ROBINSONS Land Corp. (RLC) is opening 10 new shopping centers located outside Metro Manila in the next two years, as it takes advantage of growth in the countryside.

 
ROBINSONS Place Tagum, which will set to open next year, will feature six digital cinemas and over 400 tenants. -- Illustration courtesy of Robinsons Malls.

On the sidelines of the 4th Asia Pacific Real Estate Investment Summit in ParaƱaque City yesterday, RLC Vice-President for Leasing Lourdes T. Alano told reporters the Gokongwei-led property firm is unveiling five new malls and the expansion of two existing shopping centers next year.

The expansion program will increase its gross leasable area (GLA) by around 11% from 1 million square meters this year.

Likewise, RLC is adding five new malls to its portfolio in 2017.

“The direction we have now is to open five malls, at least three to five malls a year, as a strategy,” Ms. Alano said.

In 2016, new Robinsons malls will be opened in Tagum, Davao del Norte; Iligan City; Jaro, Iloilo City; General Trias, Cavite and Cebu -- its third in the city. The company is also expanding its malls in Ilocos Norte and Tacloban.

The following year, the firm will launch shopping centers in Ormoc and Tuguegarao. Aside from these areas, Robinsons Land will also open malls in Valencia, Bukidnon; Cabancalan, Negros Occidental; Calbayog, Samar; Abucay, Tacloban; and Pavia, Iloilo.

In some of these areas, Robinsons Land will have the first-mover advantage, as the real estate firm searches for growth in provincial areas given land constraints in Metro Manila, Ms. Alano said.

She cited the company’s experience in Tacloban, one of its most successful green field markets. RLC was forced to close the Tacloban mall in 2013 after it was severely damaged by supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).

“We were the second big player in Tacloban [after Gaisano]. It’s a green field market. It has proven to be successful. All the demographics have shown positive signs. Right now, the performance of our Tacloban mall has outperformed pre-Haiyan days. I guess it’s really the market that those particular cities have,” Ms. Alano said.

“When we acquire properties, we take a look at demographics, bank deposits, competitors, population of the market, accessibility of the location so, the interplay of those factors makes us decide to grow in these markets,” she said.

By 2019, RLC is aiming to double its net profit from the P4.7 billion pocketed in 2014, anchored on the expansion of its residential, shopping mall, office and hotel businesses.

RLC is part of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., which has interests in Universal Robina Corp., JG Summit Petrochemical Corp., CP Air Holdings Inc., and Robinsons Bank Corp. The conglomerate also holds stakes in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. and Manila Electric Co.

Shares in RLC added 35 centavos or 1.18% to close at P29.90 apiece on Thursday.
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