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Ayala Land income down 74% to P8.7B last year

Fourth-quarter showed ‘sustained momentum for recovery’

AYALA LAND, Inc. (ALI) on Wednesday reported a 74% fall in net income for 2020 to P8.7 billion after a double-digit decline in consolidated revenues, but said its performance “improved steadily” towards yearend.

“There was no escaping the major disruption caused by the pandemic in 2020, but our company’s performance in the latter part of the year was encouraging and provides a baseline for our recovery plans moving forward,” Ayala Land President and Chief Executive Officer Bernard Vincent O. Dy said in a press release.

Revenues dropped by 43% to P96.3 billion last year, which the company said it “endured” after the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on its operations.

“In 2020, greater value was placed on maintaining a strong balance sheet to weather this crisis and prepare our company to resume our growth aspirations,” Mr. Dy said.

In the fourth quarter, the real estate division of Ayala Corp. posted a net income of P2.4 billion or a 28% growth, which it described as a “sustained momentum for recovery” from the third to fourth quarter. Total revenues for the quarter rose 49% to P33 billion.

Ayala Land’s press release, which mostly compared its fourth-quarter numbers with those of the third quarter, placed revenues from property development at P25.8 billion, a spike of 64%. The company pointed to the continuation of construction of its 174 projects all over the Philippines.

Sales reservations also grew in the last quarter to P21.1 billion, or almost 58% of sales reservations before the health crisis.

As the country began easing restrictions during the holidays, Ayala Land saw its mall revenues inch up by 10% quarter on quarter to P1.7 billion.

El Nido Resorts and Lio Tourism Estate were also allowed to reopen by the country’s Tourism department while coordinating with the local government units in the second half of 2020.

Ayala Land said “travel bubbles” numbering 37 in the fourth quarter translated into a 52% rise in revenues to P787 million during the period.

“Operating procedures were also put in place to ensure the safety of our people and our customers and initiatives were introduced to provide assistance to various stakeholders during this difficult period,” Mr. Dy said.

Ayala Land said its capital expenditures last year hit P63.7 billion “in line with the revised full-year budget.” The funds were allocated mainly to complete residential and commercial leasing assets, it said, adding that a portion was spent on land acquisition and development of estates.

In a separate disclosure, the company said that its board of directors approved Ayala Land’s merger with its listed subsidiary Cebu Holdings, Inc. as well as other subsidiaries, namely: Asian I-Office Properties, Inc., Arca South Commercial Ventures Corp. and Central Block Developers, Inc.

Ayala Land will be the surviving entity. It said the merger is an “internal restructuring” as well as a consolidation of its Cebu portfolio under one listed entity.

“The merger is expected to result in operational synergies, efficient funds management and simplified reporting to government agencies,” the company said.

On Wednesday, shares in Ayala Land rose 1.18% to close at P38.65 each. — K. C. G. Valmonte

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