Rockwell to venture deeper into hotel operations, mass housing

In Photo: Rockwell Land President and CEO Nestor Padilla (left) and Rockwell Land Chairman of the Board Ambassador Manuel Lopez during the company’s stockholders’ meeting. The president’s report said that “With 14 completed projects spanning across residential, commercial, hotel and leisure and provincial developments, Rockwell is now a diversified brand solidly established in the Philippine real-estate industry.”

LOPEZ-LED Rockwell Land Corp. said it allocated P10 billion to P12 billion in its capital expenditures (capex) this year, as it ventures into hotel operations in Cebu and into mass housing.

The amount was higher than last year’s actual expenditures of P7.4 billion, or an increase of 62 percent, Ellen Almodiel, the company’s senior vice president for finance and chief finance officer, said at the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting.

Almodiel said 60 percent of the capex will be for development of projects mainly for residential condominiums and the rest for those to boost its recurring income, which includes hotel, retail and office business. Nestor Padilla, the company president and CEO, said it will expand several hotel properties under the Aruga brand. It will build another 300-room Aruga resort in Mactan, Cebu, which will feature sky suites on its upper floors with views of the 250-meter beachfront.

Rockwell will spend between P3 billion and P4 billion for the resort, which the company said will have private villas that give guests direct access to the beach.

“Given all of these offices and retail spaces, this will improve the recurring ebitda [earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization] of our company from P1 billion in 2015 to P1.5 billion in 2018,” Padilla said.

The Mactan resort is slated to start construction in the third quarter of 2017.

“The strong interest from our roster of investors and partners to roll out new ventures outside Metro Manila is evidence of not only the strength of Rockwell’s hotel and leisure business, but also reflects our collective vision to develop prime tourist locations like Mactan Island, as the country experiences a tourism renaissance,” Padilla said.

The Aruga brand was first introduced by Rockwell in its Makati property. The 280-room boutique hotel is expected to be completed by the first half of 2019.

Rockwell, meanwhile, has created a unit called Stonewell Land, which will handle its mass-housing project.  This is the first time the Lopez-led company will venture into mass housing as, currently, all of its projects are geared for the most affluent buyers. It has a 32-hectare property in Lipa, Batangas, to start off the project. Officials said it is still scouting for land or locations across the country.

The Lipa project, which will sell units between 35 square meters and 75 square meters, will start by next year. The succeeding phases will be completed during the next five years to seven years.

The company has not yet set a brand or an exact plan for the development.

For the first quarter of the year, the company’s revenues from the condominium sales amounted to P6.2 billion, while its commercial- development business posted P2.1 billion in revenues, 59 percent higher compared to P1.4 billion year-on-year, mainly due to the sale of 8 Rockwell office units.

Hotel-operations revenue under the Aruga brand grew from 1 percent to 3 percent and remained robust with P260 million worth of revenues, 189 percent higher compared to P90 million in the prior year.

The development of Rockwell Mactan is expected to generate P300 million and P400 million annually upon the completion of the project.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes


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