HENRY Sy-led SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) on Wednesday reported a 10-percent increase in first quarter consolidated net income to P8.5 billion, up from P7.7 billion a year earlier following gains in its core retail and property businesses.

“We continue to build on our strong 2017 performance with revenues rising faster in the first quarter this year.

Looking ahead we remain cautiously optimistic about underlying consumption trends despite inflationary pressures,” SM President Frederic DyBuncio was quoted as saying in a statement.

Consolidated revenues rose by 11 percent to P95 billion from P85.4 billion in the first quarter of last year.

SMIC’s property business led the growth, accounting for 46 percent of the group’s consolidated profit, followed by banks (32 percent) and retail (22 percent).

Property arm SM Prime Holdings, Inc.’s net income jumped 15 percent to P7.6 billion while consolidated revenues also up 14 percent to P23.4 billion in the period.

The mall segment remained the top business with revenues reaching P13.9 billion in January to March. New malls bolstered rental income by 12 percent to P11.9 billion, while same mall sales rose 7 percent.

Residential revenues, led by SM Development Corp., jumped by 25 percent to P7.5 billion. Reservation sales also surged 20 percent P14.8 billion.

SM Retail Inc., meanwhile, generated 10 percent growth in total sales to P67.4 billion with earnings also increased by 14 percent to P2.6 billion. Revenues from specialty retail stores, in particular, were said to have posted 16 percent growth to P17.4 billion.

Banking unit BDO Unibank posted flat earnings of P5.9 billion even as net interest income climbed 20 percent to P22.2 billion, lifted by 18 percent growth in gross customer loans to P1.8 trillion and a 16 percent rise in total deposits to P2.2 trillion.

China Banking Corp.’s net income slightly grew to P1.5 billion, up 2 percent in the first quarter. Net interest income also increased by 18 percent to P5.3 billion.

SM Investments said that as of end-March, its total assets stood at P972.1 billion, up 9 percent. It also maintained a conservative gearing ratio of 44 percent net debt to 56 percent equity.

The holding firm’s shares closed 1.66 percent higher on Wednesday, up P15 at P920 apiece.

Source: The Manila Times