The Philippines' largest shopping mall operator said Friday its profits increased strongly last year as an ambitious expansion plan at home and in China paid dividends.
SM Prime Holdings said its 2011 consolidated net profits rose 15 percent from a year earlier to P9.1 billion ($213.31 million), driven by expanded capacity from newly opened malls and rental growth.
Its China malls contributed P889 million in net profits, double the previous year's P428 million, a company statement said.
Consolidated revenues jumped 13 percent to P26.9 billion.
Company executive vice president Jeffrey Lim said the firm would continue with its strategy of building malls outside of the major cities in the Philippines and China.
SM Prime Holdings plans to build one shopping mall annually in China from 2013 to add to the four now in operation and a fifth to open this year in the southwestern city of Chongqing.
"We will build in second and third-tier areas in China. These are areas with big growth potential," Lim told AFP.
In addition, three or four malls will be built every year in provincial areas of the Philippines, he added. The company opened five locally last year with a total floor area of 380,000 square meters (4.1 million square feet).
By the end of this year, SM Prime said it would have 46 malls in the Philippines and the five in China, with a total gross floor area of 6.3 million sqm.
The listed firm is controlled by Henry Sy, 87, a China-born immigrant listed by Forbes magazine last year as the Philippines's richest man, with a net worth of $7.2 billion. — Agence France-Presse