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Rockwell to Pursue Projects Outside Metro Manila

Rockwell Ortigas

ROCKWELL LAND Corp. is considering developing more properties outside the National Capital Region, particularly in the Lopez family’s home province.

“We’re looking also at other provinces where there are opportunities like Iloilo,” Rockwell Land Chairman Manuel M. Lopez said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of Lopez Holdings Corp. stockholders in Makati City on Wednesday.

“Iloilo is the province that the family is from. We’re looking seriously at some properties there,” added Mr. Lopez, who also serves Lopez Holdings as chairman and chief executive officer.

Lopez Holdings holds investments in Rockwell Land through First Philippine Holdings Corp. The property developer primarily engages in developing high-rise condominiums and leasing of retail and office spaces.

The company develops, sells and manages residential units under the “Rockwell” and “Primaries” brands. Its commercial development segment includes the Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Business Center, Aruga by Rockwell and 8 Rockwell.

Rockwell Land forayed into the hospitality business with the opening of the Aruga Serviced Apartments in Makati City in 2014.

Now, the company is expanding its footprint in the sector with a resort in Mactan, Cebu.

“We are expanding it to Cebu, aside from the one project that we had there for a couple of years now. We’re going to resort development in Mactan. So, that should be ready in a couple of years,” Mr. Lopez said.

The resort project remains in the development stage. Rockwell Land has tapped a developer-architect handling similar projects in Bali, Indonesia for the Mactan property.

“So we will be meeting with (the developer-architect) shortly to see what would be the ideal size of the project in Cebu,” Mr. Lopez said.

Mr. Lopez, the country’s ambassador to Japan, noted the potential of Cebu as a tourist destination, particularly for Japanese visitors.

Asked whether Rockwell Land would expand to other provinces given the incoming administration’s thrust to develop the countryside, Mr. Lopez said: “If it makes sense, why not?”

The property developer booked a net income of P241.5 million for the three months to March, about 6% lower than the P340.1 million posted a year earlier, as higher expenses offset the 10% increase in revenues to P2.01 billion.

FPH earlier announced Rockwell Land and First Philippine Industrial Park will lead the group’s non-energy units in sourcing their power supply requirements from low-carbon sources.

The Lopez-led conglomerate has vowed to never develop or invest in any coal-fired power plant in line with efforts to tackle climate change. It also called for a transition toward clean energy sources.

Lopez Holdings echoed its investee’s call for climate action during the annual stockholders’ meeting.

“We must support economic growth with clean energy, to balance our current needs with those of future generations, who will have to deal with greater crises from climate change,” Mr. Lopez said.

Lopez Holdings posted a 24% year-on-year increase in net income to P1.35 billion from P1.08 billion for the first three months of the year.

In a report to the stockholders, Lopez Holdings President Salvador G. Tirona cited the “solid performance” of FHP and multimedia conglomerate ABS-CBN Corp. during the period.

The company owns 46% of FPH, which maintains interests in energy, property, construction and energy services. It also holds an economic interest of 56% in ABS-CBN and 46% in FPH.

“Well, I think the whole group has invested in major businesses, for example power generation, which is really an important ingredient in the economic growth. So, we’ve put our investments in the right place,” Mr. Tirona noted after the stockholders’ meeting.

The board of Lopez Holdings on Monday declared a cash dividend of 20 centavos per share, payable on June 29 to stockholders registered as of June 14.

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