SM Investments Corporation

SM opens 70th mall

SM City Telabastagan is the 70th SM mall in PH

Property giant SM Prime Holdings has hit the 70th shopping mall milestone in its Philippine retail empire expansion, cementing its market-leading position with the opening of a new shopping hub in Pampanga.

SM City Telabastagan, which opened yesterday, is the fourth SM mall in this province. The new mall adds 55,000 square meters of gross floor area to the portfolio of SM Prime, one of the largest property developers in Southeast Asia in terms of market capitalization.

The three others are SM City Pampanga, SM City Clark, and SM City San Fernando Downtown.

SM City Telabastagan, located along McArthur Highway, will have two floors of shopping, multicultural dining and entertainment zones adorned by indoor pocket gardens.

SM City Telabastagan is opening with 84 percent of space awarded to tenants. It will feature six digital cinemas alongside popular local and international brands such as The SM Store, SM Supermarket, Uniqlo, Surplus Shop, Watsons, SM Appliance Center, Miniso, Ace Hardware, BDO and China Bank.

Earlier this year, SM Prime opened two other malls: SM Center Imus in Cavite last Feb. 16 and SM City Urdaneta Central in Pangasinan last May 4. It will also open SM City Legazpi in Albay and SM Center Ormoc in Leyte.

Sy family-led SM Prime is one of the two most valuable enterprises in the country with market capitalization exceeding P1 trillion.  The other one is its parent conglomerate, SM Investments Corp.


8-10 below 900 lagi Tongue

Property, retail drive SMIC profit higher

SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) reported a nine percent increase in earnings during the first six months of 2018, boosted by the double digit growth of its property (SMPH) and retail units (SM Supermarkets) amid flattish results from the banking business.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Sy-led conglomerate said net income climbed to P18.1 billion in the first half, higher than the P16.6 billion it posted in the same period a year ago. This driven by a 12% uptick in revenues to P204.9 billion, against P183.2 billion in the first half of 2017.

“We are encouraged by the results of the first half, driven by the strong performance of retail and property, particularly the residential business. Our results show the strength of the economy and consumer sentiment but we remain vigilant about inflationary pressures. We are optimistic that consumption will remain resilient,” SM President Frederic DyBuncio said in a statement.

SM’s property business accounted for bulk of its consolidated profit at 45%, followed by banks at 33% and retail at 22%.

SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SMPH) generated P16.6 billion in consolidated net income during the first semester, higher by 16% year-on-year. Revenues also accelerated by 15% to P49.8 billion.

The property giant benefited from higher mall revenues and same-store growth. Rentals, cinema and event ticket sales and amusement revenues, contributed P28.7 billion to total revenues, 12% higher from the same period a year ago.

The residential arm of SMPH expanded its revenues to 23% to P17.1 billion for the period, as it saw strong sales from the projects it launched from 2015 to 2017. Reservation sales went up by a fourth to P34.5 billion.

Both of SM’s banking units, BDO Unibank, Inc. and China Banking Corp. reported flat growth during the six-month period.

BDO’s net income stood at P13.1 billion, 1.5% lower year-on-year due to the lower non-interest gains and bigger operating costs. The listed lender noted that without the impact of the implementation of Philippine Financial Reporting Standards on the investment portfolio of BDO Life as well as the expansion of One Network Bank, its net income would have picked up by 13%.

China Bank’s net income was unchanged at P3.6 billion as of end-June, amid a 15% increase in recurring income to P13.3 billion due to the growth of its core businesses.

Meanwhile, SM’s retail unit saw its net income grow by 10% to P5.7 billion, on the back of a 10% increase in total sales to P145 billion.

The company operated a total of 2,149 stores at the end of the six-month period, consisting of 61 The SM Stores, 1,304 specialty stores, 55 SM Supermarkets, 49 SM Hypermarkets, 190 Savemore stores, 49 WalterMart stores, and 441 Alfamart stores. The specialty stores alone generated P37.3 billion in the first half, 17% higher year-on-year, fueled by the expansion of new formats such as Miniso.

Sought for comment, Timson Securities, Inc. Trader Jervin S. De Celis said the company is on track in terms of income growth.

“By the end of 2018, SM’s year-on-year earnings growth is estimated to reach 15.60% higher than last year’s annual growth rate… This year, estimates on the full year net income for SM is at P38 billion and I think the ‘ber’ months will help the company reach this,” Mr. De Celis said in a mobile message, referring to the upcoming holiday season.

Philstocks Financial, Inc. Research Associated Piper Chaucer Tan meanwhile said SMIC’s results were below expectations of a double-digit growth.

“Given the scope of SM and exposure to various industries, the prevalent culprit would be inflation, which affects consumer spending and cost on the part of SM. But we believe that the second half can regain or bounce back as ‘ber’ months are approaching and given that during those months consumer spending increases,” Mr. Tan said in a separate message.



...akala ko hindi na tuloy ito? ginapang pala ito ng tahimik Big Grin

SMIC says in final stages of acquiring 34% stake in Goldilocks

SM INVESTMENTS Corp. (SMIC) said it is in the final stages of acquiring a 34% stake in Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc., months after the deal to fully purchase the business fell through.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the holding firm of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. confirmed reports of the acquisition. This will give the SM Group a significant minority interest in the company which currently operates more than 600 stores nationwide.

To recall, the listed conglomerate’s unit, SM Retail, Inc., backed out of the deal to acquire 100% of Goldilocks’ shareholdings back in February, citing changes in the general business environment.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) had already approved the P2-billion transaction at the time. Alongside the approval were some conditions to ensure that the deal will not hinder competition inside SM malls, which include giving Goldilocks’ competitors a “fair chance” to their positions in SM malls at all times.

The SM Group also pledged that it will not give Goldilocks access to competitors’ information, such as sales data captured by the point-of-sales system of mall tenants.

With the revised acquisition plan, SMIC will no longer need PCC approval as it will fall below the P2-billion mandatory notification threshold of the commission.


...unstoppable Tatang Tongue


SM Retail ramping up store expansion

SM Retail, Inc. aims to grow the number of stores under its portfolio to 3,000 within the next five years, banking on the increasing spending power of Filipinos alongside the growing economy.

SM Retail Director Jorge T. Mendiola said the company is open to adding more specialty retail brands under its network when the opportunity arises.

Asked when the company targets to hit the 3,000-store mark, Mr. Mendiola told reporters on Aug. 9: “Hopefully soon, probably in the next five years or so. We’re in that mode right now for expansion.”

The retail unit of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. ended the first half of the year with 2,149 stores, consisting of 61 The SM Stores, 1,304 specialty stores, 55 SM Supermarkets, 49 SM Hypermarkets, 190 Savemore stores, 49 WalterMart stores, and 441 Alfamart stores.

For this year alone, the company is set to open four The SM Stores, four SM Supermarkets, 18 Savemore stores, two SM Hypermarkets, and 76 specialty stores, according to a regulatory filing.

To accelerate expansion, the company is considering introducing more foreign brands in the country.

Mr. Mendiola cited the company’s partnership with Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo, saying this has been “fairly successful.”

Aside from Uniqlo, other specialty stores under SM Retail include Ace Hardware, Forever21, Watsons, Crate & Barrel, The Body Shop, Miniso, Toy Kingdom, Kultura, and Surplus.

“We’re always open to anything, if something comes by then we take a look at it and if we think that it will really help us then we will engage,” the SM Retail executive said.

SM Retail is getting a boost from the increased consumer spending as a result of the continued growth of the economy.

“The Philippines is a growing market, at least unemployment is down to five percent. Hopefully with more BPOs and other investments coming in, it would be lower. And of course with employment there’s spending power, and I think that’s key. And there are remittances, it’s really helping us a lot,” Mr. Mendiola said.

SM Retail’s net income went up 10% to P5.7 billion in the first six months of 2018, buoyed by the 10% increase in total sales to P145 billion. Revenues from specialty retail stores alone rose by 17% to P37.3 billion. The company attributed to increase to the expansion of new formats such as Miniso, which ended the first semester with 55 stores.

SM Retail is part of Mr. Sy’s holding firm, SM Investments Corp., which also has core interests in property and banking.

The listed conglomerate reported a nine percent profit growth to P18.1 billion in the first half of the year, driven by a 12% uptick in revenues to P204.9 billion during the period. 



...Disneyland pala yun?! Tongue akala ko Planetarium Big Grin

Disney, SM reap fruits of partnership

NEARLY 5,000 Disney-branded products are sold every hour in SM shopping malls throughout the country, according to officials of The Walt Disney Company (Philippines), Inc. and SM Lifestyle and Entertainment, Inc.

In the last three years, Disney and SM have worked together, leveraging on the strengths of their brands to drive business growth for both companies.

“The main reason (for the partnership) was we wanted to establish SM as a key destination for Disney properties. We like to work with global brands like Disney, they’re the best licensor in the world. For us being the largest mall operator, the largest retailer in the Philippines, we also want to work with the best,” Myra Eugenia I. Moñozca, vice president for licensing and partnerships at SM Lifestyle Entertainment, told BusinessWorld in an Aug. 17 interview.

Disney-SM’s multiyear partnership covers theatrical promotions, retail and special activities. The two companies brought Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars movies to life through retail and entertainment experiences at SM shopping malls throughout the Philippines.

Veronica Espinosa-Cabalinan, general manager of The Walt Disney Company (Philippines), noted the Disney brand has become stronger in the Philippines as a result of the partnership with SM.

“The partnership helped drive business growth for us. The data showed close to 5,000 Disney products are sold per hour in SM malls. Year on year, since the partnership, we have had double-digit growth in our Disney character business with SM Retail,” she told BusinessWorld at the Disney office in Taguig on Aug. 17.

“Two out of three Filipinos are Disney fans. With that fact and the quality products we have available in retail, it helps us build the connection with Filipino fans and audience,” she added.

Ms. Moñozca noted Disney now contributes approximately half of overall sales of character brands in SM. Also, Disney licensees in key categories such as apparel, accessories, footwear and toys have been able to generate 80% of their sales from SM stores.

SM malls have become a showcase for Disney films, as well as its well-loved characters. Last December, all 55 SM malls throughout the country featured Disney-themed Christmas displays under the “We Love Disney” campaign.

“The malls pride themselves in providing the best possible family experience for our customers every Christmastime. We know the nature of our Filipino customers. You can basically do everything at the mall now, go to mass, shop, eat, watch a movie… Having that thematic experience like We Love Disney campaign added to that excitement during Christmastime,” Ms. Moñozca said.

Ms. Cabalinan noted these displays, which featured Mickey and Friends, Disney Princesses and other popular characters, helped bring the Disney experience to more Filipinos.

“As you know, especially in the provinces, one of the aspirations of some Filipino families is to be able to go to Disneyland. Now this type of installation brings them close to that type of experience, one where they can also experience in Disneyland,” Ms. Cabalinan said.

More than a third of screen share for Disney films in the Philippines are accounted to SM cinemas, allowing the movies to reach audiences in Visayas and Mindanao wherever there are SM malls.

“Aside from driving business growth, it provided us increased engagement with fans, connecting to fans not just in Metro Manila. We have to build our strengths in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, and that’s what the partnership is about also, reaching areas with fans that we are unable to connect with,” Ms. Cabalinan said.

With a slew of new movies coming out in the next few months, Disney and SM expect to continue bringing unique, “money can’t buy” experiences for fans at the malls.

“What’s exciting is Disney churns out new properties and movies every year, just based on theatrical slate for next year, there’s so much more we can do with theatrical promotions with Disney… We will support it on ground with activations, retail campaigns as well. With new movies comes greater opportunities to do something different year on year,” Ms. Moñozca said.



...pag bumababa ng P900 BUY! Tongue

OUTLIER: SM Investments Corp.

DOMESTIC inflation concerns at home coupled with perceived weakness on emerging markets, in general, caused market players to unload some of their shares in Sy-led SM Investments Corp., making it one of the most traded stocks last week.

SM was the 7th most actively traded stock with a total of 1.18 million shares worth P1.125 billion having exchanged hands on the trading floor from Sept. 3-7, according to data from the Philippine Stock Exchange.

On a week-on-week basis, its share price was lower by 2.9% to P938 on Friday from its Aug. 31’s closing price of P966 apiece. Year to date, the conglomerate’s share price is down 9.8%.

“[T]he inflation report at 6.4% and the weak performance of the peso contributed to the bearish sentiment on SM Investments to test the support at P928 and P920 this week,” said Cristopher Adrian T. San Pedro, certified securities representative at Unicapital Securities, Inc.

Fiorenzo D. De Jesus, research analyst at RCBC Securities, Inc., was of the same assessment, saying investors “were generally risk-off on equity assets in general” attributing it to both the higher-than-expected domestic inflation and the lower confidence on assets of emerging markets.

The 6.4% August inflation reading was the fastest since March 2009, piercing government and market estimates for that month. So far, inflation averaged 4.8%, higher than the central bank’s 2-4% target range for the year and below its upwardly revised 4.9% forecast for 2018.

While the country’s “strong economic fundamentals” make it attractive to hold SM shares in the long-term, recent developments are clouding its short-term outlook, analysts said.

“[SM] is in many investors’ portfolios (both active and passive investors) because it is the largest ‘proxy’ stock for the Philippine economy,” RCBC Securities’ Mr. De Jesus said.

“Our long-term outlook for SM still remains strong. However, inflation may remain a headwind for now as it shows no sign of slowing down this year due to continued peso depreciation and elevated oil prices, exacerbated by the more recent supply issues of rice and sugar. Investors may be considering the impact of inflation remaining elevated until next year,” he added.

“Until investors are assured the government and [the central bank] is taking more steps to curb inflation, sentiment for consumer-spending driven names may continue to be negative,” Mr. De Jesus said, adding that investors might reallocate their assets to cash or in defensive stocks.

Valuations for the SM stock were already elevated last week with an estimated 33 times its price-to-earnings ratio as of end-August “so selling may take the counter to levels that will become more desirable for investors, given the recent headwinds,” Mr. De Jesus said.

Meanwhile, Unicapital’s Mr. San Pedro sees SM trading between P908 support and P980 resistance in the short term.

“Assuming a bearish scenario, I expect the next support levels at P878 and P850.50 if the PSEi (Philippine Stock Exchange index) goes below 7,400,” he said.

SM’s unaudited consolidated net income after taxes amount to P29.07 billion in the first half, 11.2% more than the P26.12 billion in the same semester last year, its latest financial statements showed.



...2GO, Goldilocks minority pala sila, sana bilhin na rin nila SMP  Big Grin

Henry Sy-led SMIC looking to shift investment strategy

THE holding firm of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. is shifting its investment strategy, favoring businesses where they can secure a minority position instead of taking full control of the company.

“What we will be doing this time is looking at investments differently, maybe looking into those that can perhaps grow with a little push, then maybe we will get just a minority position,” SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) Vice Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson told reporters on the sidelines of the GRI Sustainability Summit at Conrad Manila on Monday.

“Instead of a majority where we will run, most of the companies will be run by the main proponents,” Ms. Sy-Coson explained.

SMIC has been positioning itself in a number of firms in the previous years. In 2017, it acquired a 34.5% stake in Negros Navigation Company, Inc., the parent of integrated transport solutions provider 2GO Group, Inc.

The listed conglomerate also acquired earlier this year a 34% interest in Goldilocks, Inc., after the deal to buy the entire shareholdings of the bakeshop chain fell through. Goldilocks’ current owners will continue to run the company with SMIC as a minority investor.

A 34% interest should be enough to influence decisions that need approval by at least two-thirds of a company’s shareholders.

Meanwhile, Ms. Sy-Coson said SMIC remains unaffected by the higher inflation and rising interest rates.

“The customers are still buying, it has not been affected by inflation. Maybe there will be (impacts), but not now,” Ms. Sy-Coson said.

The president of SMIC’s property arm, SM Prime Holdings, Inc., echoed this view, saying that consumption has not slowed down amid the negative economic figures.

“I think consumption will continue given that we’re going into the holiday. The full effect of the inflation numbers will probably be after that,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim told reporters in a separate interview.

Mr. Lim also noted rising interest rates have yet to affect its residential business, saying the company is moving ahead with expansion plans.

“So far, we have not seen it and we continue to do the developments. I guess it’s still too early. The Chinese market is also increasing the demand for residential (projects),” Mr. Lim said.

Asked how SM Prime fared in the third quarter of the year, Mr. Lim said it performed “within target.”

SMIC grew its net income by nine percent in the first six months of 2018 to P18.1 billion, higher than the P16.6 billion it realized in the same period a year ago. Revenues likewise expanded by 12% to P204.9 billion, thanks to the expansion of its shopping mall and residential developments, and retail businesses, offsetting the minimal decline for its banking unit.



...pumartner kay Dennis Uy

SM to expand in Clark Global City

BUSINESSMAN Dennis A. Uy’s Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC) has engaged SM Prime Holdings, Inc. to be the first locator in its 177-hectare Clark Global City leasehold in Pampanga.

In a statement issued Wednesday, GGDC said it has signed a sublease agreement with Sy-led SM Prime for up to 10 hectares inside the Clark Freeport Zone.

“Having SM Prime as one of our anchor locators boosts our efforts in developing Clark Global City as the country’s new center of business, life and innovation,” Mr. Uy said.

Under the deal, GGDC will sublease an initial five hectares to SM Prime. The SM Group will then have the option of taking up five more hectares within the next three years.

“Clark Global City provides us another platform to help develop Clark and thereby unlock employment and business opportunities in the region,” GGDC quoted SM Prime Chairman Hans T. Sy as saying in a statement.

The subleased space will allow SM Prime to expand its adjacent developments in the area, which includes SM City Clark, a four-storey retail and office building for business process outsourcing firms, and the Park Inn Hotel.

“We will explore more opportunities to contribute to the transformation of Clark as a premier investment destination in Asia-Pacific,” Mr. Sy said.

Earlier this year, Mr. Uy’s group secured the government’s approval for the lease rights of Clark Global City for a total of 75 years. This came after the group’s $1-billion acquisition of the growing logistics hub in 2017.

Since the start of its development, the master planned development already has a 173-hospital bed carrying the Medical City brand and two fully-leased out Grade A office buildings covering around 57,000 square meters of leasable office and retail spaces. The buildings form part of the West Aeropark complex.

Mr. Uy’s group is currently constructing three more buildings in the office complex, all of which have been pre-leased.

“We look forward to welcoming more companies and investors as partners in realizing our vision for Clark Global City, which we believe will translate to more jobs and better living conditions for our fellow Filipinos,” Mr. Uy said.

GGDC’s parent, Udenna Development Corp., earlier said it plans to invest $6 billion for the development of Clark Global City. This includes the construction of more office buildings, residential developments, hotels, hospitals, schools, transport terminal, sports center, and a casino and entertainment complex.



...hanep ah, may robot helper na SM Tongue

Service robots coming soon to malls as SM ties up with Cal-Comp

SM SUPERMALLS has tapped Cal-Comp Technology (Philippines), Inc. for the supply of customer service robots in one of its shopping malls.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Cal-Comp Philippines said it signed a partnership with SM Supermalls for the provision of its New Era AI (Artificial Intelligence) Robotic service robots.

The first service robot will be stationed at SM Megamall in the first quarter of 2019. The robot will be programmed to direct mall-goers and answer questions about Megamall shops and tenant promos. Its large screen and speakers will also provide real-time promotion with interactive map services.

“In pursuit of bringing family fun experiences for all, SM is excited to bring to customers another fun innovation that aims to transform shopping and retail experiences in the country,” Cal-Comp Philippines quoted SM Supermalls Chief Operating Officer Steven T. Tan as saying in a statement.

In an earlier interview with reporters, Cal-Comp Philippines Chief Executive Officer Simon Shen described the service robots as smart, humanoid robots featuring smart voice interactivity, facial biometrics identification, and POS systems, among others.

“Our partnership with SM Supermalls will revolutionize the local retail industry, and we are excited for the rollout of this new technology across all SM Supermalls in the Philippines. Our smart service robot’s speech capabilities will hopefully make the shopping experience more convenient for everyone, and provide the needed assistance to mall guests of all ages.” Mr. Shen said in a statement.

Mr. Shen earlier noted that the robots can also speak Tagalog as they were put up by Filipino engineers.

The company said the service robot can also be used in other industries such as retail, convenience stores, health care, and finance. The robot’s front screen can also be used for mobile advertisements and other announcements.

Aside from AI robots, Cal-Comp Philippines manufactures consumer electronics products such as calculators, electronic keyboards, LEDs, hard disk drives, and several high-end home appliance product for international brands.

Cal-Comp Philippines is the local unit of Taiwan-based New Kinpo Group, which has operations in Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and several parts of China.

The company earlier planned to raise P6.77 billion through an initial public offering (IPO) to finance its expansion in the country, but decided to back out due to market volatility. This would have funded the construction of two new manufacturing facilities, new assembly equipment, and machinery.

Cal-Comp Philippines said it will proceed with its expansion in the country despite the postponement of the IPO. The company currently has a total manufacturing space of 298,674 square meters across Lima Technology Center in Lipa, Batangas and First Philippine Industrial Park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. 



...earnings report

SM Investments nets P26B in 9 months

THE holding firm of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. expanded its earnings by 10% in the first nine months of 2018, as its property, banking, and retail units continued to deliver strong results.

In a statement issued Tuesday, SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) posted a net income of P26.2 billion in the nine months ending September, on the back of a 12% growth in revenues to P307.4 billion.

“The results of the first nine months have been reassuring with the resilient performance of property, banking and retail. Our financial results reflect the ongoing strength of consumer sentiment, even as we continue to monitor inflationary pressures,” SMIC President Frederic C. DyBuncio was quoted as saying in a statement.

SMIC’s property business provided 43% of the company’s total revenues, while banks and retail accounted for 36% and 21%, respectively.

The listed conglomerate’s property unit through SM Prime Holdings, Inc. generated a net income of P23.4 billion in the nine-month period, 17% higher year-on-year. This came after a 15% uptick in revenues to P74.6 billion.

The shopping mall unit boosted SM Prime’s performance, as its revenues rose 12% to P43.3 billion, accounting for 58% of consolidated revenues. Same-mall sales growth stood at eight percent, pushing mall rental revenues 12% higher to P36.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the residential group under SM Development Corp. saw its revenues increase by 23% to P25.3 billion. The unit further recorded a 25% rise in reservation sales to P52.8 billion.

For the banking unit, BDO Unibank, Inc. exhibited a six percent profit jump to P21.5 billion. Gross customer loans reached P2 trillion, higher by 17% from a year ago, while total deposits climbed 12% to P2.3 trillion. Net interest income accordingly went up by a fifth to P71.5 billion.

The country’s largest lender expects to hit a net income of P31 billion for full-year 2018.

SMIC’s other bank, China Banking Corp., has yet to release its financial results for the third quarter.

The retail unit through SM Retail, Inc. reported P227 billion in revenues for the period, 11% higher year-on-year. Bottomline growth was slower at 3% to P7.9 billion.

SM Retail consists of both food and non-food stores, ending September with a total of 2,212 stores consisting of 62 The SM Stores, 1,315 specialty retail stores, 56 SM Supermarkets, 50 SM Hypermarkets, 194 Savemore, 52 WalterMart, and 483 Alfamart stores.

The group opened three stores for The SM Store, located inside its newly opened malls in Urdaneta, Telabastagan, and Legazpi. For the food retail group, SMIC added 13 stores for Savemore, four SM Supermarkets, three SM Hypermarkets, and six Waltermart. Its convenience store chain also opened 135 Alfamart outlets.

“SM’s results are in line with our expectations but it was below consensus forecast,” according to COL Financial Group, Inc. Research Analyst Richard Laneda.

Regina Capital Development Corp. Managing Director Luis A. Limlingan also noted that SMIC’s earnings were in line with targets, saying in a mobile message that “net income was up by double digits boosted by the performance of property and retail segments.”



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