CLI bullish on hotel business

CEBU LANDMASTERS, Inc. recently launched Abaca Resort Mactan. — COMPANY HANDOUT

By Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte, Reporter

CEBU LANDMASTERS, Inc. (CLI) said it remains bullish on its hotel business as it anticipates a strong recovery in the tourism and travel sectors over the next three to four years.

This as the listed developer reported a 66% increase in its net income to P1.32 billion in the first six months of 2021, keeping CLI on track to exceed its growth targets.

“As we know, it’s one of the challenging industries today but we’ve timed the delivery of our hotels to be completed by 2023, 2024, and 2025, which we really feel there’s going to be a very strong tourism recovery,” CLI Chief Operating Officer Jose Franco B. Soberano said during an online briefing on Monday.

CLI said it expects to operate 1,433 rooms in its hotel portfolio by 2025, with seven hotel development projects in the pipeline.

The Visayas-Mindanao-based property developer entered the hospitality segment nearly two years ago. Developed in partnership with The Ascott Ltd., CLI’s Citadines Cebu City started operations in September 2019. It has 130 rooms available, with 50 more rooms underway.

“CLI’s strategy with its hospitality business is really brand. We will partner with global brands to deliver a global network and a global standard of excellence,” Mr. Soberano said.

The company partnered with The Ascott on three more of its hotel projects.

Lyf Cebu City is expected to be completed by 2022 and will add 159 hotel rooms to its portfolio. Citadines Bacolod City will open its doors by 2023 with 200 hotel rooms, while Citadines Paragon Davao is slated for completion in 2024 with 263 rooms.

CLI also inked a management contract with the Radisson Hotel Group for the first Radisson RED in the country, which will have 144 rooms. It is expected to be completed by 2023.

Meanwhile, its recently launched Abaca Resort Mactan will be operated by the Abaca group. The luxury boutique hotel will feature 125 rooms and is slated for completion in 2024.

CLI also has two development projects to be operated by French multinational hospitality group Accor S.A. Patria de Cebu’s Mercure Cebu Downtown will add 167 hotel rooms to CLI’s portfolio and Sofitel Cebu will contribute 195 hotel rooms. Both developments are expected to be completed by 2025.

“We have a chance to design these hotels in the best and healthiest environment possible,” Mr. Soberano said.

CLI said it is looking forward to see how its hotel projects will complement its existing businesses, as most of it are attached to its business developments.

Latitude Corporate Center was completed during the first six months, adding 13,000 square meters (sq.m.) of gross leasable area (GLA). It now has a GLA of 29,051 sq.m.

The company said it might consider entering the real estate investment trust market with its hotel and mixed-use developments.

“Not immediately, but certainly a strategy that we’re looking at in the mid- to long-term,” Beauregard Grant L. Cheng, chief finance officer of CLI, said.

The company now has 40 completed projects in total, while 36 more developments are underway and 14 are in the pipeline.

Six residential projects in Cebu, Iloilo, and Ormoc worth P11 billion were launched in the January-to-June period across its economic, mid- and high-end brands.

“We intend to continue benefitting from our core business — housing — while preparing for new opportunities that global recovery and tourism will bring,” CLI President and Chief Executive Officer Jose R. Soberano III said in a statement on Monday.

CLI’s net income to parent surged by 66% to P1.32 billion in the six-month period from last year’s P792 million as sales in its real estate developments grew.

The company’s topline grew to P5.1 billion, 46% higher than the P3.5-billion logged in revenues in the same period last year. CLI’s economic housing brand Casa Mira posted the highest growth with 206% due to higher sales and continued construction.

CLI said construction activity in its project sites stood at an average of 97%, especially in projects located in Cebu, Dumaguete, and Bohol.

The company saw reservation sales jump 12% to a record P8.3 billion in the first half, after it launched six residential projects in Cebu, Iloilo and Ormoc.

“We spot opportunities in the middle of all these challenges. The low-interest rate environment and tax measures that favor mid- and economic home buyers inspire us to persist in executing our project plans with agility and excellence. We are anticipating to exceed our year-end guidance by the end of the year,” Mr. Soberano said.

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