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SMIC records 65% profit surge as pandemic restrictions ease 

SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) posted a 65% net income growth last year after seeing a surge in consumer spending as the country eased its pandemic restrictions amid the holiday season.

In a disclosure to the exchange on Monday, the company said it logged a P38.5-billion net income in 2021, up from the P23.4 billion it registered the previous year.

Meanwhile, SMIC’s consolidated revenues inched up 9% to P428.1 billion from P394.2 billion year on year.

“We saw a rebound in consumer spending in the run-up to Christmas as restrictions across the country eased. This led to improved performance in our retail and mall units as our banks continued to deliver solid results,” SMIC President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic C. DyBuncio said.

“It is our hope that the further easing of restrictions after the latest surge in COVID cases will lead to sustained recovery of the economy and our businesses as the country adjusts to living with the virus. We are committed to continue our expansion plans,” he added.

The company’s banking segment reportedly accounted for 51% of its net income.

BDO Unibank, Inc. generated a P42.8-billion net income in 2021, a 51% increase from the P28.2 billion logged the previous year. The company said the growth was driven by an 11% climb in non-interest income and normalized provisions.

Meanwhile, China Banking Corp. reported a 25% net income growth to P15.1 billion. SMIC said the bank ended the year with “sustained core business growth and effective cost management.”

SMIC’s property segment made up for 25% of its net income last year. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. logged a 21% profit jump to P21.8 billion in 2021 from P18 billion a year ago, while its 2021 revenues were at the “same level” as 2020 with P82.3 billion.

Meanwhile, SMIC’s retail business contributed 17% to its profits in 2021.

SM Retail, Inc.’s net income in 2021 surged 133% to P9.6 billion from P4.1 billion, while its revenues inched up 2% to P303.9 billion from P296.8 billion. SMIC said the improved profitability of the segment was driven by the sustained growth in SM Stores and Specialty Stores sales.

SM launched 294 new stores in 2021, including new SM Stores in Caloocan and Camarines Norte. The food group, comprised of SM Markets (SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarket, and Savemore), Alfamart, and Waltermart, collectively launched 219 new stores.

SM Retail now has a portfolio of 3,215 outlets, including 1,539 specialty retail stores, 1,207 Alfamart stores, 214 Savemore branches, 73 WalterMart outlets, 68 The SM Stores, 62 SM Supermarkets, and 52 SM Hypermarkets.

Meanwhile, SMIC’s portfolio investments contributed 7% to its net income. In 2021, the company increased its stake in Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc. to 74% from 34.1% last year, as well as increased its ownership in the 2GO Group, Inc. to 52.85% from 30.53%.

“We believe our portfolio investments have strong assets, synergies with our core businesses, and enormous long-term growth potential,” Mr. DyBuncio said.

SM’s total assets went up 10% last year to P1.3 trillion. The company said it maintains a “healthy balance sheet” with a gearing ratio of 38% net debt to 62% total equity.

SM shares at the stock exchange improved 2.41% or P21 on Monday, closing at P892 apiece. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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