Cancellations hit Ayala Land

Published by rudy Date posted on April 2, 2009

THE Philippines’ biggest real-estate developer announced Wednesday that cancellations increased last year amid the global financial crunch.

Despite the uptick, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) said it plans to spend P7.02 billion for a redevelopment plan of its commercial center in the country’s premier financial district.

Jaime Ayala, outgoing ALI president, said cancellations last year had experienced “an increase, particularly in the high-end market.”

“What we are seeing is that the residential sector has been [hit] by the global crisis. [A] lot of people had been affected by the uncertainty in the market. We are now focusing on how people should buy, so we are seeing an increase in sales in affordable products,” Ayala said.

Ma. Victorian Añonuevo, ALI mall group head, said the company is also eyeing to build additional office space and one four-star businessman’s hotel.

“[There is a] lot of planning put in place [to tap] the resurgence of the market in time,” Antonio Aquino, in-coming ALI president said.

Besides the expansion in Makati City, the property firm said it remains interested in the 120-hectare state-owned Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) property in Taguig City.

Finance Undersecretary Crisanta Legazpi had said the Ayala group’s property unit is among the several private companies that showed interest in FTI.

The government property is scheduled for the auction block in the first half this year.

Based on its unaudited financial statements, ALI’s net income rose 10 percent year-on-year to P4.4 billion.

Its fourth quarter earnings, however, dropped by almost a fourth to P957 million from the P1.266 billion registered during the same period in 2007.

Jaime Ysmael, ALI chief finance officer, earlier said the company reduced its capital expenditures by 8 percent to P17.4 billion from last year’s spending program as consumer demand is expected to ease amid a global slowdown.

Ysmael said the bulk of ALI’s capital spending will be used to finance the completion of ongoing projects, with nearly half of that to be spent on residential development. –Chino S. Leyco, Reporter, Manila Times

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