By James A. Loyola
Megaworld Corporation, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships, is rolling out digital platforms that are aimed at “enhancing customer experience” under the so-called “new reality.”
To be launched in the coming weeks, these are aimed boosting the firm’s e-commerce facilities to fast track the recovery of its commercial and hotel businesses, which have been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Megaworld Hotels, for example, is launching its “E-CONCIERGE,” a mobile application that allows guests to have contactless interaction with hotel staff from check-in to check-out, including virtual ordering of food from various Food & Beverage outlets inside the hotels.
“Our e-commerce platforms will give our customers the convenience and comfort that they need as we take their safety and well-being to a whole new level. We will also do the same for our mall customers, which will also greatly help our retail tenants,” said Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin L. Tan.
Tan’s Corporate Strategy Office has been on the forefront of the company’s digital transformation programs even before the pandemic.
Revenues from Megaworld’s rental businesses, particularly from Megaworld Premier Offices and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls grew 8 percent to P4.2 billion during the first quarter of this year compared to P3.9 billion during the same period last year.
Rental revenues were driven by office leases as mall rentals weakened during the quarter as concerns over the pandemic began to widen during this period.
Hotel revenues were down 4 percent to P551 million from P574 million during the same period last year as check-ins, particularly from international guests, dropped because of the pandemic.
Residential sales, however, grew 1 percent to P9.6 billion during the first quarter from P9.5 billion as the Taal Volcano eruption during the start of the year impacted sales of CALABARZON projects as well as the early challenges in the supply chain due to coronavirus-related restrictions, resulted to the delays in project construction.
“Our real estate sales still helped mitigate the impact of the challenges we faced during the quarter. Our office portfolio, which remains very attractive to locators because they are mostly PEZA-accredited, provided a buffer against the expected weakness of our mall and hotel operations. We keep an eye on effective strategies that will cushion the impact of these challenges for the rest of the year,” explained Tan.