RLC beefs up shopping malls, hotels, office space offerings
Neil Jerome Morales (The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Property firm Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) is beefing up its shopping malls, hotels and office space offerings in the medium term, riding on the strength of the economy.

“Given the growth prospects of the Philippine economy, we will continue to expand all our businesses,” said RLC president and chief operating officer Frederick D. Go.

“For our commercial centers division, we will open seven malls in fiscal year 2014. All our locations are carefully selected in the fast-growing cities in the provinces,” Go said.

By the end of 2014 fiscal year in September, RLC’s total leasable area will hit 1.07 million square meters (sqm.), up 18 percent from 913,000 sqm a year ago.

RLC will further increase its shopping centers with one new mall in fiscal year 2015, and four new commercial centers and two expanded projects in fiscal year 2016. Hence, its leasable area will reach 1.15 million sqm and 1.29 million sqm in fiscal year 2015 and 2016, respectively.

For its part, the Robinsons Offices will also put up more business process outsourcing (BPO) towers.

“Backed by the robust BPO industry of the Philippines, we continue to be bullish on the growth prospect of our office buildings division,” Go said.

Construction are under way for Cyberscape Alpha and Beta while two new office buildings will be created in the P30-billion Bridgetowne mixed-use project in Quezon City.

Net leasable area for the office division will climb from 193,000 sqm. in fiscal year 2013 to 273,000 sqm. this year, 308,000 sqm. in fiscal year 2016 and 343,000 sqm. in fiscal year 2017.

Go said RLC is also expanding its Go Hotel brand to 1,122 rooms in fiscal year 2014 and 1,411 rooms in fiscal year 2015 from 757 rooms at the end of fiscal year 2013.

Robinsons Hotels & Resorts, which operates Crowne Plaza Galleria Manila, Holiday Inn Galleria Manila, Summit Circle Cebu (formerly Cebu Midtown Hotel), Summit Ridge Hotel and Go Hotels, will end the year with 2,070 rooms from 1,623 rooms a year ago.

For the residential segment, Go said that “in fiscal year 2014, we earmarked to launch P8 billion worth of project launches in terms of sales value across all four residential brand segments,” Go said.

The property firm booked lower profits in the first half of its fiscal year 2014, dragged by higher expenses and losses from fire and typhoon-damaged malls. Net income attributable to equity holders of parent firm slipped eight percent to P2.23 billion in the October 2013 to March 2014 period. It incurred a P215.4-million loss from typhoon and fire losses.

RLC is jacking up its capital spending by a fifth to P16 billion in the fiscal year to fasttrack the construction of malls, office buildings and hotels.

Specifically, 80 percent or P12.8 billion will be spent for the construction and completion of shopping malls, office buildings and hotels while the remaining 20 percent or P3.2 billion is allotted for residential condominiums and housing units.

Aside from property, the Gokongwei family is also into retail (Robinsons Retail Holdings), budget airline (Cebu Pacific), banking (Robinsons Bank Corp.), petrochemicals (JG Summit Petrochemicals Corp.), and snacks and beverage (Universal Robina Corp.).

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