Lockdown restrictions cut Belle Corp. 9-month profit

Belle Corp., which owns half of City of Dreams Manila, said its income in the January-to-September period plunged by 96 percent to P93 million from last year’s P2.56 billion, as the pandemic shuttered its facilities and halted tourist arrivals.

Revenues were down by half for the period to P2.91 billion from last year’s P5.77 billion.

Excluding extraordinary and non-recurring items, Belle’s consolidated recurring net income for the period was higher at P680 million, but still 75 percent lower than last year’s P 2.67 billion.

For the July-to-September period alone, Belle suffered a net loss of P128.94 million, from an income last year of P515.28 million. Revenues for the period fell 42 percent to P905.04 million from last year’s P1.57 billion.

Belle’s primary growth driver, its share in the gaming revenues at City of Dreams Manila, declined by 86 percent to P325 million in January to September from P2.38 billion last year as gaming operations were either suspended or substantially limited from mid-March through September.

“The decreases in revenues and profits resulted primarily from Covid-19 related developments. 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, 2020 in compliance with government initiatives to contain the virus,” it said.

The company also blamed the pandemic for the weak results at Pacific Online Systems Corp., its unit that 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., posted a 71-percent drop in revenues to P221 million from P766 million last year.

Belle’s real estate operations recorded a 10-percent decline in revenues to P2.37 billion from P2.63 billion last year. Of the real estate revenues, P2 billion came from Belle’s lease of the land and buildings comprising City of Dreams Manila to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp., the operator of the facility. The figure was unchanged from 2019.

Belle’s real estate sales and property management activities at its Tagaytay Highlands complex, which were affected by the community quarantines during the entire second and third quarters of 2020 and the Taal Volcano eruption in January, contributed revenues of P363 million, down 42 percent from last year’s P624 million.


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