SM’s resort-style mall set to open in Palawan

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SM City Puerto Princesa is SM Prime Holdings, Inc.’s 64th mall in the Philippines. -- SM PRIME HOLDINGS

SM PRIME Holdings, Inc. is set to open a shopping mall in Palawan on Friday, its 64th in the country and adding a total of 54,000 square meters (sq.m.) in gross floor area to its retail portfolio. 

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the holding firm for Henry Sy, Sr.’s property business said SM City Puerto Princesa will be the first mall in the largest province in the Philippines.

The newest shopping mall will feature a resort-style complex, reflecting the tropical feel that the province is known for.

“We take pride in opening the 64th mall of SM Prime in one of the most sought-after island destinations in the world. We expect SM City Puerto Princesa to add new dynamics and opportunities to the thriving province of Palawan highlighted by SM’s pursuit of new and unique malling experience,” SM Prime President Jeffrey C. Lim was quoted as saying in a statement.

With the addition of SM City Puerto Princesa, SM Prime will now have a total retail space of 7.9 million sq.m. in the Philippines.

The mall will have three floors dedicated to retail and dining areas featuring around 180 retail and food shops. This includes the SM Store, SM Supermarket, BDO, Sports Central, Surplus Shop, Cyberzone, Watsons, SM Appliance, and Ace Hardware, among others.

It will also have a total of five cinema houses, with three 158-seater SM Digital Cinemas and two Director’s Club Cinemas with a capacity of 48 each.

SM Prime noted that 80% of the space has been awarded to tenants in time for the mall’s opening.

SM City Puerto Princesa will be the fourth mall that the company opened this 2017, with the four being SM Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier, SM Maison at Conrad Manila in Pasay City, and SM Cherry Antipolo in Rizal. The listed firm is set to open SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown in Cagayan Valley before the year ends. 

The company’s expansion toward the provinces is part of its strategy to take advantage of the growing market outside Metro Manila. In a previous statement, Mr. Lim noted that the provinces account for more than half of their mall operations in the country. 

SM Prime reported an attributable profit of P7.79 billion in the second quarter of 2017, a 15.35% jump from its earnings in the same period a year ago, driven by the positive performance of its provincial malls. This pushed the company’s first half attributable profit to P14.39 billion. 

Revenues for the second quarter likewise climbed 8.38% to P22.74 billion, bringing first semester revenues to P43.25 billion. 

Shares in SM Prime shed 30 centavos or 0.89% to close at P33.50 each at the stock exchange on Wednesday. — Arra B. Francia