Belle sees ‘fantastic’ 1st-quarter earnings
Leisure estate and gaming firm Belle Corp. expects to generate around $35 million a year in annual rental earnings from the operation by Macau’s Melco Crown group of Belle Grande, the second gaming complex to open at Pagcor City.
The gaming complex is expected to start operations in June or July next year but starting the first quarter of the year, Melco has been paying rental payments for the facility, which will be reflected in “fantastic” first-quarter results to be reported by Belle, the company’s chief finance officer Manuel Gana told reporters after the company’s stockholders’ meeting on Monday.
Earnings from the integrated gaming complex will be split 50-50 percent between Belle and Melco. The rental fees equivalent to about $35 million a year to be paid to Belle will be on top of its share in gaming revenues.
Gana said Melco has started paying rental fees ahead of the opening of Belle Grande. By the time the complex is fully operational, he estimated that 90 percent of Belle’s operations would be derived from the gaming complex, including the rental income.
Armin Raquel Santos, head of the casino business unit, said that during the first full year of operations in 2015, the rental fees would amount to around P1.5 billion.
Asked whether Belle would be included in the prospective consolidation of the SM group’s property units, newly elected Belle president Frederic Dybuncio said: “We’re still in the process of reviewing the whole project, it’s part of the review.”
Belle’s former president Rogelio Cabunag reported to stockholders that the Belle Grande project would include 20,000 square meters of gaming space, six hotel towers with a total of 950 rooms and a number of high-end specialty restaurants and bars.—Doris C. Dumlao
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