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Ayala Land profit drops 36% due to pandemic restrictions

AYALA Land, Inc. (ALI) recorded a 36% profit drop to P2.8 billion in the first three months of 2021 from the P4.3 billion generated year on year due to pandemic restrictions, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

The company’s consolidated revenues amounted to P24.6 billion, 13% lower than the P28.4 billion in 2020.

Revenues from ALI’s property development business suffered a six percent dip to P16.2 billion from the P17.2 billion seen in the same period last year, which was said to be “cushioned by higher bookings and construction progress.”

Around 49% of the construction work force were working on projects as supported by the off-site facilities of the Makati Development Corp.

Meanwhile, sales reservations improved by 15% to P28.5 billion from P24.7 billion year on year “as local demand remained robust amid the community quarantines.”

“Our residential business registered higher sales in the first quarter versus a year ago with new product launches gaining favorable market acceptance,” said Bernard Vincent O. Dy, president and chief executive officer of ALI.

ALI earned P13.6 billion in residential revenues, 1.45% lower than the P13.8 billion seen in the January-to-March period last year.

The company generated P1.8 billion from the sale of office units, 85% more than its P962-million revenues earned year on year due to the number of bookings in projects such as Alveo Land Corp.’s Park Triangle at the Bonifacio Global CIty and Ayala Land Premier’s One Vertis Plaza at Vertis North.

Meanwhile, revenues from the sale of commercial and industrial lots posted a 67% fall to P818.4 million from P2.5 billion due to lower Vermosa and Alviera sales.

ALI’s commercial leasing revenues went down by 41% due to pandemic restrictions, finishing the quarter with P5.1 billion in revenues from P8.7 billion year on year.

Earnings from shopping centers declined by 58% to P2 billion, while hotels and resorts revenues fell by 60% to P640 million.

“These are not expected to fully recover until mobility restrictions are eased,” Mr. Dy said.

However, headquarter and sustained BPO (business process outsourcing) operations improved office leasing revenues by two percent to P2.5 billion.

“Compared to the fourth quarter of last year, commercial leasing revenues improved by 13%. Shopping center and office revenues grew 16% and 22%, respectively. Meanwhile, revenues from hotels and resorts were 19% lower,” the company said without disclosing figures.

ALI launched six projects during the period worth a total of P17.4 billion. The company has set aside P100 billion for projects this year.

Capital expenditures (capex) for the quarter, meanwhile, amounted to P15.3 billion, which is 17% of this year’s P88-billion capex.

“Approximately, 59% was spent on residential projects, 12% on commercial projects, 10% for land acquisition, 17% for the development of estates, and 2% for other purposes,” Ayala Land said.

On Tuesday morning, the company listed P10-billion fixed-rate bonds due 2025 with a coupon rate of 3.6262% at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx).

The listing is the sixth tranche of the company’s P50-billion securities program and is said to have been oversubscribed by nearly four times.

“Demand for the bonds from both retail and institutional investors reached over P36 billion and this translated to an oversubscription of 3.6 times, allowing us to price at the lowest end of the marketing range, carrying a coupon of 3.6%,” said Augusto D. Bengzon, ALI chief finance officer and chief compliance officer and treasurer, during the bonds’ virtual listing ceremony.

The offer is expected to net P9.88 billion in proceeds. It will be used to refinance short-term loans used to fund the early redemption of its P8-billion fixed-rate bonds due 2025, general corporate requirements, and property acquisitions.

“We are a proud partner of the PDS Group [the Philippine Dealing Systems Holdings Corp.] as we pilot a bond issuance under their new digital platform,” Mr. Bengzon said.

ALI was also the first to list securities using the newly launched Electronic Securities Issue Portal or e-SIP, which is the digital platform that facilitates the online registration and processing of documents in the primary market.

“For this first-run of e-SIP, we are delighted to hear that the number of bondholders registered for the issue has reached 4,138,” PDEx President and Chief Executive Officer Antonino A. Nakpil said.

For Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, the system “democratizes bond investing,” adding that ALI’s issuance is a “testimony to the strength of [the] country’s fiscal and financial position.”

“This low-interest environment makes financing investments cheaper and will help power our strong economic recovery,” Mr. Dominguez said.

ALI’s new bond listing marks the seventh listing at the PDEx this year, bringing the year-to-date total to P70.24-billion new listings.

The total tradable debt instruments at the market are at P1.44 trillion, which are issued by 54 companies with 204 securities.

“Today, aside from the four and five-year bonds that we have been able to secure, we are now in talks with our banks for a 10-year issue,” Mr. Bengzon said.

On Tuesday, ALI shares at the stock exchange declined by 1.39% or 45 centavos to close at P31.85 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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