SMIC projects P95-B capex, maps provincial growth

By Adrian H. Halili | BusinessWorld
April 27, 2023

SM Investments Corp.’s (SMIC) capital expenditures (capex) could reach about P95 billion for 2023, which will be allocated mainly to property unit SM Prime Holdings, Inc., company officials said.

“Our projected capex this year will be between about P85 [billion] and P95 billion. It really all depends on how [our] projects progress,” SMIC Corporate Information Officer and Senior Vice-President for Finance Franklin C. Gomez said in a media briefing on Wednesday.

Of the group’s estimated capex, the majority will go to its real estate development arm, he added.

For the year, the company will focus the majority of its expansion plans on emerging regional areas outside of Metro Manila.

“Heading into 2023, we remain optimistic as a group. The majority of our expansion is focused on the regions, especially in emerging regional centers outside of Metro Manila,” SMIC President Frederic C. DyBuncio said.

“Our businesses are well-positioned and have clear strategies to participate in the country’s strong growth,” Mr. DyBuncio said added.

Mr. DyBuncio said SMIC’s provincial expansion was prompted by improvements in employment, quality of education, and connectivity in the regions.

Additionally, SM Prime plans to open three new malls for the year, while its residential arm aims to launch 15,000 to 20,000 housing units.

SM Retail, Inc. is looking to expand its store network by about 400 stores, which will mainly focus on food retail and specialty retail stores.

Meanwhile, the company approved a dividend payout of P9.17 billion or P7.50 per share for stockholders on record as of May 11.

The figure is a 20% increase from the P6.25 per share in the previous year. Dividends would be payable by May 25.

On Wednesday, SMIC shares fell by 0.22% or P2 to P898 apiece.