DAVAO CITY – The ability to navigate the local health regulatory environment, the agility to respond to different situations for every local government unit in terms of lock downs, and the methodology in terms of delivery and sales is one of the tips that keep Cebu Landmaster, Inc. to survive the pandemic.
In a 2020 Investors and Analysts Briefing on November 16, 2020 via Zoom, EVP and COO Jose Franco B. Soberano said, the quarantine or pandemic is not a uniform experience in the entire country. While he cited that cities of Manila and Cebu experienced “very strict lock downs,” it was relatively mild in other parts of the country.
“We cannot apply ‘one size, fits all,’ and there has to be a certain agility to respond to these different situations and that you can still go on with construction even if it is just reduced capacity to construct in certain geologies and markets,” Soberano said.
CLI is now a $1Billion dollar company that started at $5Million in terms of assets before it went public in 2019. “This speaks how much we have invested well the proceeds of the IPO build up with proper strategy,” Soberano said.
During the pandemic of 2020, however, he noted a slight decline of 9% for the past nine (9) months of the year 2020 but as CLI was able to continue construction through the quarantine despite reduced capacity to construct, 2020’s third quarter revenue grew at 57% or P2.2. Billion. Soberano said that “One of the strong indications which we reported in the previous quarter is the surprisingly strong reservation sales take up on Cebu Landmasters.” He credits this growth jump on an increase output in their construction sites, continuous performance of its sales team, and showing the fundamental strength of the industry.
Another methodology employed by CLI is reducing its project launching in 2020 from 23 to 14 projects. Some of these notable launchings are Casamira South 100% sold, Casamira Towers Mandaue 50% sold, Casamira Towers Guadalupe 100% sold.
During the nine months of 2020, Soberano said it was their Casa Mira economic brand that has been able to drive and generate reservation sales by 62% .
Project launching for the first quarter in Bohol and Iloilo are now doing well sales-wise and as well as the construction site activity. CLI is now getting busy for a few more launching in the first quarter of 2021 in Ormoc, Cagayan de Oro City and Dumaguete making it possible to exceed their reservation sales goals even higher than their 2019 goals.
In terms of reservation sales, CLI has already generated P10.5 Billion pesos worth of reservations sales and hopes to outperform at the end of the year the 2019 P12.67B of reservation sales.
Soberano also added another formula why CLI continues to relatively perform well amidst the pandemic. “The overriding principle is prudence and being judicious in how we deploy capital that is available to us and how to expand capital assets. This only shows that funding and liquidity will not be a constraint for CLI to be able to deliver on its contracts, more revenues and net income for its share holders.”
Soberano also attributes their survival by the market’s strong acceptance citing further that Cebu contributes 50 percent of these revenues.
“It is not only a “homegrown” advantage because they see us working, they see our projects being delivered on time. During the pandemic, we are a developer that is very visible that communicates very closely with the stakeholders here in the regions. Our results is attributable to that,” he said.
“We have actually been very busy completing our projects despite the pandemic. We managed to mobilize our contractors and suppliers as well as giving them all the best support so that they can continue construction during the quarantine periods. This continued construction has allowed us to turn over several projects generating P5.8Billion worth of take outs.”
Another reason why CLI remains afloat is because “There is still a lot of housing backlogs here in VisMin, he said. “One strong indication which we reported in the previous quarter is the surprisingly strong reservation sales take up on Cebu LandMasters.”
The spike in reservation sales by their Casa Mira brand as well as fully sold units in Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro further backs Soberano’s claim that the fundamental demand for housing is still existing.
Moreover, the pandemic has opened an opportunity for the “work-from-home” and “online class” environment that demands for a well managed housing units. (By Giovanni A. Flaviano)