Sia’s listed firms post double-digit profit growth

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By Justine Irish D. Tabile

THREE listed companies chaired by businessman Edgar J. Sia II reported on Monday double-digit profit growth in the first semester led by his retail store operator MerryMart Consumer Corp., which nearly doubled its earnings during the period.

Real estate firm DoubleDragon Corp. posted a 29% increase in its consolidated net income to P1.2 billion for the six months ended June as revenues rose by 26.8% to P3.41 billion.

In a press release, Mr. Sia said the company’s equity “that consists generally of a string of diversified titled hard real estate assets located in prime and strategic locations nationwide continue to appreciate as years go by.”

Its consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) went up by 32% to P2.07 billion.

To date, the company has 1.2 million square meters of completed gross floor area all over the country.

“We expect this portfolio of hard assets to all mature and generate the optimum level of recurring income production before 2025,” Mr. Sia said.

The company is preparing for the planned real estate investment trust listing of its CentralHub industrial warehouse portfolio, which will commence once market conditions improve.

In the last quarter of the year, DoubleDragon plans to construct Hotel 101 – Niseko in Hokkaido, Japan.

“We believe that DoubleDragon’s current overall healthy financial position during this extended economic crisis puts it in a good position to grow and strengthen even more significantly once the next boom cycle starts,” DoubleDragon Chief Investment Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini said.

Meanwhile, DDMP REIT, Inc. registered a P1.06-billion core net income in the first six months, higher by 17% than last year’s.

Its revenues went up by 2.9% to P1.23 billion while its rental income climbed by 7.6% to P1.14 billion in the first half.

DDMP, which invests in income-generating real estate, ended the semester with its total assets and equity increasing by 0.2% to P50.30 billion and to P41.04 billion, respectively.

Its board of directors approved a cash dividend to all shareholders amounting to P486.7 million or P0.03 per share with the payment date on Sept. 26, 2022.

“We are glad for the many positive economic indicators that are recently signaling a new economic cycle post the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, post the peak of Ukraine war tensions, and post the generally peaceful Philippine election. These past few weeks, we have felt the buildup of fresh new tenant inquiries, ongoing negotiations and increased activities of the existing office and retail tenants,” Mr. Sia said.

MerryMart, which has several retail formats, posted a net income of P32.25 million in the first half, almost double from a year ago, driven by its acquisitions of Carlos SuperDrug and Cecile’s Pharmacy.

The group is keeping its eyes open for similar partnerships and acquisitions within traditional and technology consumer sectors.

MerryMart’s topline increased by 55.9% to P2.88 billion in the semester while its EBITDA climbed to P99.45 million, a 62.5% increase from last year.

Mr. Sia said the company “is well on its way to exceed the P5-billion revenue mark this year, more than double the company’s revenue numbers two years ago when it filed for [an initial public offering].”

He said the “next immediate goal” for the retail group is to double the figure “to reach our next milestone target,” which he disclosed as reaching the P12-billion revenue mark.

The company is set to launch an application called “MM Wholesale App” that will be available on iOS and Android devices.

The application will offer next-day delivery within Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite along with free delivery for purchases amounting to P10,000 and above. It will have a point system that customers can use “good as cash” on their next purchase.

“One main feature of the App is its live inventory ability. Whatever you see in the App is physically in our warehouse which means 99% of the time you will receive exactly what you ordered,” Mr. Sia said.

The application will feature over 5,000 household essential SKUs (stock keeping units) priced 15% lower than retail prices.

By 2030, MerryMart aims to have a total of 1,200 branches nationwide and to generate P120 billion in system-wide recurring consumer sales revenue.

On the stock market on Monday, DoubleDragon shares went down by 1.05% or P0.08 to P7.51 apiece, DDMP shares climbed by 1.99% or P0.33 to P1.54 apiece, and MerryMart went up by 6.21% or P0.06 to P1.54 apiece.