Belle Corp.’s net jumps to P777.7M

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Leisure estate and gaming firm Belle Corp.’s first-quarter net profit soared by nearly 15 times year on year as it started collecting rental income from Macau casino operator Melco Crown ahead of the 2014 opening of its integrated casino project in Pagcor City.

Belle reported P777.77 million in net profit attributable to equity holders of parent for the first three months, up from only P52.47 million a year ago.

Three-month revenue surged to P1.17 billion from only P96.94 million a year ago, buoyed mainly by the P949.61 million in rental paid by Melco for the Belle Grade complex up to February 2013.

The structure for phase 1 of the Belle Grande project, which houses the main podium and six hotel towers, was turned over to Melco Crown for fit-outs and finishing in March. Belle expects to turn over to Melco Crown on or before the first quarter of 2014 the structure for phase 2, which will feature a family entertainment center and a night club in a dome-like structure to be called “Fortune Egg.”

In the meantime, Belle booked revenues from sales of real estate and club shares amounting to P107.96 million, up from P79.75 million a year ago.

Belle expects to generate about $35 million a year in annual rental earnings from the operation by Melco of Belle Grande until full completion.

During the first full year of operations in 2015, Belle expects to collect rental fees of about P1.5 billion, which will be on top of its share of rental revenues.

Citing consistent profitability, Belle posted consolidated retained earnings of P1.67 billion as of end-March.—Doris C. Dumlao

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