Losses on agency business delay spin-off plans
By BARRY PORTER
CONCERN over losses on First Pacific Davies' core property agency business have been stalling the company's proposed spin-off, First Pacific Co group managing director Manuel Pangilinan says.
He said the normally lucrative agency business had been hit by the slowdown in Hong Kong property sales, resulting in a $3 million loss.
However, he said other arms of the integrated property services group performed well last year, particularly security firm Guardforce and Guardian Property Management.
First Pacific Co's group profit contributions from property fell 30 per cent from $316.7 million to $221.5 million, due also to a sharp drop in revenue from estate development sales.
Profits contributions to First Pacific Co from property development dropped 65 per cent last year.
Mr Pangilinan said no date had been set for any listing of First Pacific Davies, nor was the group actively looking for any sponsors.
He said there were now signs that the property market was coming back to life.
First Pacific Davies chairman David Davies emphasised that the agency business had recently shown some signs that it was picking up.
'We did very well in January,' Mr Davies said. 'Any flotation will be based on future earnings, not past.' Development earnings will be boosted this year by the sale of First Pacific Davies' Stanley Village project in January for $200 million.
First Pacific Co as a whole will also enjoy significant future earnings through its Philippine arm, Metro Pacific, which has a 40 per cent interest in the consortium helping redevelop 214 hectares of land on the former Fort Bonifacio military base in Manila.