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Sy conglomerate reports 33% profit rise to P17B 

SM INVESTMENTS Corp. (SMIC) posted a consolidated net income of P17.3 billion in the first quarter, up 33.1% from a year ago, as the Sy-led conglomerate recorded double-digit revenue growth.

“This year has started well, continuing the strong momentum of 2022. We are well-positioned for continued growth and prepared for any macroeconomic uncertainties. Meanwhile, the whole group is pushing ahead with regional expansion plans to serve more Filipinos,” SM Investments President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said in a statement.

SMIC’s consolidated revenues for the quarter increased by 21% to P138.2 billion from P113.8 billion in the same period last year. Its banking units BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp. accounted for 47% of net earnings, followed by SM Prime Holdings, Inc. at 26%, SM Retail, Inc. at 17% and portfolio investments at 10%.

BDO reported a net income of P16.5 billion, up 41% year on year, driven by solid loan and deposit growth, robust fee-income generation and improved asset quality.

China Bank’s income inched up by 3% to P5 billion due to its robust asset base expansion, strong net interest income and lower credit provisions.

SMIC’s property unit, SM Prime booked a consolidated net income of P9.4 billion, up 27% from P7.4 billion in the previous year. Consolidated revenues went up by 20% to P28.7 billion from P23.9 billion.

Local mall revenues increase by 88% to P15.4 billion from P8.2 billion, while rental income jumped by 72% to P13 billion due to an increase in tenant sales, foot traffic, and full rental fee charging.

Meanwhile, the company’s residential business group, led by SM Development Corp. (SMDC), booked 29% lower revenues to P8.5 billion from P12 billion.

Its sales take-up rose by 15% to P35.8 billion from P31.1 billion, translating into a 23% increase in unit sales to 7,523 for the three-month period from 6,110 the prior year.

SM Prime’s other businesses, which include offices, hotels, and convention centers, recorded total revenues of P3.2 billion, up 59% from P2 billion the prior year.

Meanwhile, SM Retail recorded a 51% rise in net income for the quarter to P 3.9 billion from P2.6 billion the previous year.

Revenues for the period rose by 22% to P91.2 billion from P74.5 billion as consumers’ purchasing power remained stable despite higher inflation.

“Notably, the department store business was strong as improving employment continued to support spending. Food retailing was likewise strong with constant spending on food essentials. Specialty retail growth was also driven by discretionary spending on fashion, accessories and sports items,” SMIC said.

For its portfolio investments, the company said that these continued to contribute to revenues and net income for the first quarter. It did not give exact figures.

SMIC said it expects the portfolio businesses “to make a bigger contribution” to the group’s revenues and earnings over time. Its shares rose 0.86% or P8 to P943 apiece on Wednesday. — Adrian H. Halili

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