By James A. Loyola
SM Prime Holdings Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has approved the declaration of cash dividends of P0.185 per share worth a total of P5.34 billion.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said the dividend will be issued in favor of stockholders of record as of June 30, 2020, payable on or before July 14, 2020.
“This is both an extraordinary and challenging time for each of us. The Company is taking all the necessary steps to ensure the well-being of our employees and society,” SM Prime President Jeffrey Lim said.
He noted that, “While we maintain a strong balance sheet, the company has decided to prioritize financial flexibility to prepare for what has yet to come.”
“Management sees it best to conserve our resources as we strive to strike a balance between protecting the interest of our stakeholders and maintaining a sustainable growth trajectory for the company over the long-term,” Lim added.
Despite the overwhelming impact of COVID-19, Lim said SM Prime remains optimistic about an eventual recovery in consumer spending, owing to the resilience of the Filipino people.
Meanwhile, the Company’s financial position will allow it to carry on with its planned expansions in the second half of 2020 moving forward.
SM PRime’s P80 billion planned capital expenditures for 2020 remains intact for the year as it focuses on nearly completed projects seen to bring about sustainable returns.
At the same time, SM Prime will continue to explore opportunistic acquisitions and investments that are well within its core competencies.
To date, SM Prime, through SM Foundation, has supported various government and non-government organizations to contain the spread of the virus including medical tools and equipment to hospitals and front-liners nationwide, and food aide to communities hardly hit by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
SM Prime provided cash assistance as well to service-provider personnel and a full two-month compensation to all of its employees despite of stoppage of its mall operation and waiving of rent to all of its mall tenants nationwide.
Additionally, the Company also provided safety help and solutions to various communities in its residential properties, while maintaining optimal operations in its office and hotel businesses.
On top of these, SM Prime also provided services and access to its properties during this time of crisis including building emergency quarantine facilities and converting Mall of Asia Arena into a Mega Swabbing Facility.