Belle profit down 96% as virus disperses casino crowd
Leisure estate and gaming holding firm Belle Corp. saw a 96-percent year-on-year drop in January to September net profit to P93 million as the pandemic bludgeoned its integrated gaming business.
For the third quarter alone, Belle incurred an attributable net loss of P45.91 million, a reversal of the P513-million net profit in the same period last year, as gaming revenues dwindled, based on a regulatory filing.
Gaming operations were either suspended or substantially limited from mid-March through September this year due to lockdown protocols imposed by the government to curb the pandemic.
Belle’s consolidated revenues fell by 50 percent year-on-year to P2.91 billion for the nine-month period. Including earnings attributable to minority interest, Belle’s consolidated net income fell by 96 percent year-on-year to P93 million.
Excluding extraordinary and nonrecurring items, Belle’s consolidated recurring net income amounted to P680 million during the period in review, 75 percent lower than the comparable figure in the previous year.
“The effects of the pandemic began with declining tourist arrivals prior to the implementation of the community quarantines nationwide and was compounded by the temporary suspension of gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila on March 16 in compliance with government initiatives to contain the virus,” the disclosure said.
Belle’s primary growth driver, or its share in the gaming revenues of City of Dreams Manila, declined by 86 percent year-on-year to P325 million as gaming operations were disrupted by the pandemic.
The crisis also weakened the results of Pacific Online Systems Corp., which leases online betting equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for their lottery and keno operations. Pacific Online, which is 50.1 percent-owned by Belle’s subsidiary Premium Leisure Corp. (PLC), posted a 71-percent year-on-year decrease in revenues to P221 million.
Belle’s real estate operations recorded a 10-percent year-on-year decrease in revenues to P2.37 billion at end-Sept. Of the amount, P2 billion came from Belle’s lease of the land and buildings comprising City of Dreams Manila to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp.
Meanwhile, real estate sales and property management activities at Tagaytay Highlands complex—which was also affected by the Taal Volcano eruption in January 2020— contributed revenues of P363 million. This marked a 42-percent decline from the nine-month period in 2019.
For the third quarter, total revenues fell to P905 million from P1.57 billion in the same period last year, mostly due to the paltry gaming revenues. INQ
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