The Philippine Star Updated November 12, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Vista Land & Lifescapes Inc., the holding firm for most of the real estate assets of the family of Sen. Manuel Villar, reported a core net income of P1.86 billion in the first nine months of the year, down 19 percent from P2.29 billion the previous year on lower sales and interest income.
Real estate revenues fell eight percent to P7.17 billion while gross profit dropped 10 percent to P3.46 billion.
In the third quarter alone, Vista Land’s core net income amounted to P570 million or 13.4 percent lower than the P658 million registered in the same period a year ago.
“We were really expecting a drop in net income. Our third quarter results were well within our expectations although I believe we could have done slightly better had it not been for typhoon Ondoy, “ said Ricardo Tan Jr., Vista Land senior vice-president for finance.
Tan said the company was able to contain its operating expenses, rising by only eight percent to P1.48 billion.
He said the firm also prepaid P1 billion worth of dollar-denominated debt obligations. As of end-September this year, Vista Land’s bank loans stood at P253 million, almost three times the P92 million registered as of end-2008.
Despite the drop in net profit, Tan expressed confidence the company will meet its financial targets for the year, with core income seen reaching nearly P2.4 billion.
From January to September this year, Vista Land launched 18 projects with an estimated value of P18 billion, 15 of which are in the low and affordable housing market segment. The company is rolling out 10 more new projects for the rest of the year.
“We remain confident about our company’s prospects and we will continue to be the leader in the affordable housing market where demand has been stable..We believe Vista Land has a strong competitive advantage given the track record and popularity of our Camella brand. Furthermore, Vista Land by far has the broadest presence in the Philippines among all the major property developers,” Tan said.
Moving forward, Paolo Villar, Vista Land chief finance officer, said he expects the company to do well in the fourth quarter on improving consumer spending, continuous flow of OFW remittances, and low interest rates.
He said the company is ramping up construction activities for next year, with special focus on the middle to high-end segments of the property market which are currently experiencing strong growth.
Vista Land is the holding company of four business units – Britanny, Crown Asia, Camella Homes and Communities Philippines. Brittany, which caters to the high-end market segment.
On the other hand, C & P Homes services the low-cost (including socialized) and affordable housing segment in the Mega Manila area while Communities Philippines offers residential properties outside Mega Manila in the low-cost, affordable and middle market segments.
More than 60 percent of the group’s revenues come from its socialized or mass housing units Camella and C&P Homes.