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CYBERSPACE, DECEMBER 21, 2009 (Courtesy of the AYALA LAND WEB SITE) Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) continued to post improved quarterly financial results with consolidated revenues for the third quarter of 2009 reaching Php8.2 billion, an increase of 17% from Php7.0 billion achieved in the second quarter.

The Company's core net income rose by 9% to Php1.05 billion in the third quarter, from Php 964 million posted in the previous quarter. This growth was achieved largely through improved net operating income (NOI) margins and a reduction in general and administrative costs. The Strategic Landbank Management business registered an improvement in margins while Residential and Construction margins have stabilized.

"We maintained an upward trend in terms of revenues and earnings in the third quarter of this year, largely driven by improved margins and effective cost discipline," said Jaime E. Ysmael, ALI's Senior Vice President and Chief Finance Officer. "We have put in place a four-pillar strategy involving growth, margin improvement, capital efficiency, and organizational development, to further strengthen our market position and deliver on investor expectations in the coming years," Ysmael said.

The continued improvement in the third quarter brought consolidated year-to-date revenues to Php22.56 billion for the first nine months of 2009, just 6% lower than the Php24.0 billion recorded in the same period last year. This was mostly due to the uncertain market conditions experienced back in the first quarter of 2009, a slight year-to-date drop in Real Estate and Hotel operation revenues, and the absence this year of capital gains from a large transaction, such as the sale of shares in three subsidiaries last year.

Meanwhile, the growth in third quarter earnings helped ALI post a nine-month 2009 core net income of Php2.9 billion, just 8% lower than the Php3.2 billion in core earnings recorded in the same period last year. Consolidated NOI reached Php6.30 billion for the first nine months of 2009, marginally exceeding last year's Php6.27 billion as overall NOI margins improved to 30% compared with 29% for the same period last year.

Residential Development revenues amounted to Php10.5 billion in the first nine months of 2009, lower by just 2% compared with the Php10.8 billion posted in the same period last year. The Company's middle-income brand, Alveo, posted a substantial growth in revenues while the affordable segment brand, Avida, performed steadily. Ayala Land Premier revenues, however, declined as the recovery in demand in the second and third quarters was not able to fully offset the significant drop in the first quarter.

Total revenues for Shopping Centers rose by 3% to Php3.32 billion during the first nine months of 2009. This was driven by the continued improvement in occupancy rates at Greenbelt 5 and Market! Market!, allowing blended occupancy rates to remain at 92% despite the Ayala Center redevelopment related closures in Glorietta 1 as well as the start-up operations of MarQuee Mall in Angeles, Pampanga, which opened last September.

Revenues from Corporate Business more than doubled to Php1.33 billion in the first nine months of the year from Php633 million in the same period last year. The growth was derived from the expansion of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) office portfolio that tripled the BPO gross leasable area from that of last year. Revenues were also boosted by higher average BPO lease rates with the start of operations of two higher-yielding BPO office buildings in Makati this year (Solaris One and Glorietta 5 BPO).

Revenues from the Strategic Landbank Management Group amounted to Php1.49 billion in the first nine months, 136% higher than the same period last year, largely due to the significant construction completion of its share in booked NUVALI residential and commercial lot sales.

As part of its strategic plan to develop more growth centers around the country, the Company recently concluded two key landbank acquisitions. ALI forged in August 2009 a joint venture agreement with the National Housing Authority (NHA) to develop the 29.1-hectare North Triangle Property in Quezon City into the Philippines' first transit-oriented mixed-use central business district.

Last October, the Company also signed a 50-year lease agreement with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) for the development of a 7.5-hectare property along Rizal Highway within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone into an integrated mixed-use community which will include a shopping mall, BPO office building and a hotel.

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Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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