RLC Q1 profit down 8.5% as pandemic weighs on mall revenues | Inquirer Business
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RLC Q1 profit down 8.5% as pandemic weighs on mall revenues

/ 05:20 AM May 08, 2021

Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC) posted a net profit of P2.9 billion in the first quarter, down by 8.5 percent year-on-year as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh down on the shopping mall business.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, however, RLC’s net income improved sequentially by a whopping 236 percent. Consolidated revenues for the three-month period grew by 35 percent year-on-year to P16.67 billion, primarily driven by sales revenues from its residential development in mainland China. RLC’s development portfolio accounted for P12.58 billion of consolidated revenues, up by 91 percent year-on-year. This was as the company started to recognize revenues from the Chengdu Ban Bian Jie project in China. RLC realized P10.5 billion in revenues from its China project in the quarter following the handover of units to buyers for phase 1. Also, RLC recovered 89 percent of its invested capital with the repatriation of $200 million.

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Reduced restrictions

“Business environment in the first quarter improved on the back of reduced quarantine restrictions and increased economic activity. We maintain a positive outlook for the future after the successful rollout of vaccination programs,” RLC president and chief executive officer Frederick Go said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Friday.

The commercial centers division recorded significant improvements in revenues and cash flow versus the previous quarter, growing at 22 percent and 65 percent to end at P2.25 billion and P1.13 billion, respectively. Operational gross leasable area, number of operational tenants and foot traffic showed signs of recovery in the first three months of the year, the company reported.

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COVID-19 testing

Compared to the same period last year, revenues from the commercial centers division declined by 22.5 percent from P2.91 billion last year.

Robinsons Malls partnered with Philippine Red Cross and various local government units to provide convenient, accessible and safe venues for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction testing and vaccination. To date, Robinsons Malls has set up 20 saliva drive-through collection sites and 17 vaccination centers. Despite an uncertain outlook for the tourism and hospitality industries, the hotels and resorts division delivered a quarter-on-quarter double-digit growth in revenues of 14 percent due to the improved performance of budget hotel chain Go Hotels. Mainly catering to the essential business sectors and the demand for temporary accommodations, the hotels and resorts division ended the first quarter with revenues of P258 million, down from P464.8 million a year ago.

The residential division reported an upswing in demand for new residential units as net sales take-up for the first three months reached P2.82 billion. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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