Pacific Online H1 earnings inched higherBy Paolo G. Montecillo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Profits of publicly listed gaming firm Pacific Online Systems Corp. inched up in the first half of the year as it continued to expand its network of electronic terminals that it operates for the government.
In a disclosure on Friday, the company—which trades under the symbol “LOTO”—said it ended the six-month period with an operating income of P265.8 million. This was 11 percent higher than the January-June period of last year.
This came as total revenues rose by a tenth to P755.3 million from last year’s P685.5 million.
Stripping out extraordinary gains, Pacific Online ended the first half with a profit of P201 million, or just 2 percent higher year on year.
“The modest growth in the first semester, as cited above, was mainly due to increases in terminals deployed for both lotto and Keno operations, which resulted in higher lottery sales,” the company told the local bourse.
In its first-half report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pacific Online said expenses rose 10 percent to P489.5 million from P445.8 million last year. The increase stemmed mainly from higher software licensing costs that are linked to the expansion of Pacific Online’s terminal network.
Last June, Pacific Online signed a fresh deal with the state-run Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for the rollout of an additional 600 lottery terminals in the company’s concession area of Visayas and Mindanao.
This was part of the PCSO’s goal of reaching P30 billion in annual revenues to make it one of the biggest contributors to state coffers.
The new terminals would go on top of the 2,039 lotto outlets the company already operates on the PCSO’s behalf.
In the same deal with the PCSO, Pacific Online agreed to have its lease fee for existing terminals reduced to 9.85 percent for the year 2012, from the 10 percent the company used to get.
The reduction of the lease fees for existing terminals and the lower rate approved for the new terminals mean savings for the government, if fees are computed on a per-terminal basis.
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