CLASS—meaning globally famous names and brands like Milano, Versace and Trump, as well as endorsers like Paris Hilton—distinguishes Century Properties Group (CPGI) from other players in the real еstatе sector.

The branding strategy is also driving the company’s sales in both the domestic and international markets. “We’re extremely strong internationally, having close to 70 percent of our sales to OFW and foreign nationals,” says Jose Carlo Antonio, chief finance officer of Century Properties Inc., CPGI’s parent company. Jose Carlo is the son of the founder, Joey Antonio, a grizzled veteran of many enterprises and a veritable rags-to-riches story.

Publicly listed CPGI reported a 93 percent increase in revenues to P4.02 billion for the period January 1 to Oct. 31, 2011 from P2.09 billion for the same period in 2010.

Cost and expenses grew 38 percent to P2.89 billion for the first ten months of 2011 from P1.81 billion for the same period in 2010.

As a result, Century’s net income grew 447 percent to P781 million for the ten-month period ended Oct. 31, 2011 compared with P143 million for the same period in 2010.

The ten-month profits for 2011 were also more than four times the full-year earnings of P179.57 million for 2010, when revenues breached the P3-billion mark from P2.27 billion in 2009.

The final figures for 2011 will likely show a banner year for Century. Pre-sales data indicate the company pre-sold P18.4 billion for the whole of 2011, up 129 percent from P8.0 billion in 2010.

The company also pre-sold 5,367 units last year, more than twice the 2,325 units sold in 2010.

World-famous names
Century has specialized it branding its condos, using famous names, and all its high-end condos are doing well. Milano, with interior design by Versace Homes, is 77 percent pre-sold, while
Trump Tower was 55 percent pre-sold by February 2012.

Trump was launched during the fourth quarter of 2011.

Century Properties notes that its luxury segment (defined as units over P7 million), while being the most well known in the company’s portfolio, comprises only 20 percent of 2011 pre-sales.

The middle-income segment (units priced at P3.5 million to P7 million) accounts for 50 percent of pre-sales, while affordable units (P1.2 million to P3.5 million) accounts for the remaining 30 percent.

Century Properties CFO Jose Carlo Antonio explains that the branding strategy is not limited to getting celebrity endorsement.

These global brands, he points out, lend not only their name, but also their product and expertise.

For example, the common areas for Milano will be designed by, and will have furniture from, Versace Homes.

The Trump building is up to Trump development standards, hence the building will be comparable to the Trump Tower in New York and Trump’s stellar properties.

So it is not just about famous names. The strategy is also about global standards.

Century Properties’ branding strategy is complemented by aggressive marketing overseas, both to overseas Filipinos and foreign nationals. In 2011, about 67 percent (in terms of value) of Century Properties’ pre-sales came from the international markets.

Bullish prospects
The company remains bullish about the prospects of the property sector, and has set a capital expenditure budget of P7.3 billion to P8.3 billion.

Ongoing developments consist of Century City in Makati City, Canyon Ranch in Cavite, Azure Urban Residences in Paranaque City (the first man-made beach residential resort development that also features the Paris Beach Club) and Acqua Residences in Mandaluyong City.

Upon completion, these four master-planned developments will have 23 condominium buildings with 15,703 condominium and office units, and 955 single detached homes, with a total expected gross floor area of 1,185,024 square meters.

Century Properties plans to launch this year a 4.4-hectare project along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City that will offer approximately 2,000 affordable housing units, together with a lifestyle center that will include a variety of retail offerings to complement its existing developments in Century City.

Century (including its former affiliate Meridien and main shareholder Century Properties Inc.) has completed 20 condominium buildings (4,128 units) with a total gross floor area of 548,262 square meters.

Century’s popular projects include the award-winning Essensa East Forbes in Fort Bonifacio, South of Market in Fort Bonifacio (the Philippines’ first fully fitted and fully furnished condominium), SOHO Central in the Greenfield District of Mandaluyong City (the Philippines’ first transportation-oriented development, designed with a direct link to the Metro Railway Transit), Pacific Place in Ortigas and a collection of French-inspired condominiums in Makati City called Le Triomphe, Le Domaine and Le Metropole.

Century Properties also manages 51 properties, including the Asian Development Bank and Makati Medical Center.

The company hopes to bag other building management contracts, particularly those occupied by business process outsourcing companies.

Century Properties distinctive was founded by Jose E.B. Antonio in 1986, when the Philippines became famous for its “quiet revolution.”

Amid the political and economic crises, Antonio saw a bright future for the country. He was right—25 years later Century Properties, which he started with six friends, has become one of the country’s top five real еstatе developers with more than 3,000 employees.
Century Properties went public through a backdoor listing in 2011.

Jose Carlo Antonio says that to date, CPGI has a public ownership of 27.3 percent, with a current free float market value of P4.3 billion.

There had been two major stock transactions. First, new investors were sold 1.33 billion shares of Century Properties Group Inc (CPGI) owned by CPGI’s parent company, Century Properties Inc (CPI).

The gross proceeds from the sale of 1.33 billion shares (about P2.3 billion) were used by CPI to subscribe to new unissued shares of CPGI.

Thus, the entire P2.3 billion went to CPGI, not CPI, for the operations of the listed subsidiary.

In the second transaction, CPI transferred 868 million shares of CPGI to Netherlands-based APG, the second-largest pension fund worldwide, in consideration for APG’s existing convertible debt (issued in 2011) to equity.

 

Source: Manila Times | April 18, 2012