LISTED property developer Sta. Lucia Land Inc. (SLI) on Friday said it received an AA+ rating from Credit Rating and Investors Services Philippines Inc. (CRISP) for its 40-year track record, well-established brand recognition and low debt burden.
CRISP acknowledged SLI’s brand as a reputable property developer, which has allowed the company to successfully market its projects to Filipino homebuyers, Sta. Lucia said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
“SLI is a majority-held company of the Sta. Lucia Realty Group (SLG) that was incorporated in 1972. Together, SLI and SLG have a combined 40-year track record that created a footprint in 10 major regions and cities in the county as they developed over 10,000 hectares of land and more than 220 residential subdivisions,” CRISP was quoted as saying.
SLI has a sales force of more than 120,000 agents from six marketing companies, four of which are exclusive to Sta. Lucia.
CRISP noted that SLI has a low debt burden as it mostly operates using internally-generated funds and has tapped banks for direct borrowings of just over P3 billion.
“SLI’s low debt provides the company a broader flexibility in financing its future expansion programs by tapping the capital market with fresh debt and further equity infusion,” said CRISP.
The credit watcher also issued a stable outlook for SLI, noting that the company is expected to maintain its sales and revenue trajectory in a competitive but stable property development market.
“Although CRISP expects that the election year in 2016 may produce a lot of political noise that could prompt a few buyers to temporarily defer their home purchases, CRISP also anticipates a smooth political transition of the Philippine national leadership that will immediately dissipate the uncertainties among the homebuyers.”
“Overall, CRISP is confident that given the solid and reputable performance by SLI in the property development sector would enable the company to pay its debt with relatively small risk and maximum loss recovery up to the full amount.”