Belle earnings breach P3B as casino revenues stream in

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Apr 05 2014 12:10 PM | Updated as of Apr 05 2014 08:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Belle Corp., the gaming arm and upscale leisure developer of the SM Group, breached the P3-billion income mark last year as rental revenues from its new integrated casino project streamed in.

In a regulatory filing, Belle said its consolidated net income surged more than six times to P3.63 billion last year from P555.66 million in 2012.

“This was achieved due to significantly higher revenues and a day one gain on finance lease accounting of P2.34 million,” the company said.

It also recorded a P772.2-million gain from the swap of 809 million Highlands Prime Inc. shares for 109 million SM Prime Holdings Inc. shares, the property firm said.

Gross revenues grew more than five times to P2.62 billion from P494.43 million a year ago.

Belle said it posted higher revenues “due to the receipt of revenues arising from the lease and operating agreements with Philippine subsidiaries of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. totaling P2.28 billion.”

Belle is the builder of the $1.3-billion City of Dreams Manila complex in the Manila Bay reclamation area. Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown, for its part, leases the property and will operate the integrated casino.

Gross revenues from sales of real estate and club shares for 2013 of P175.3 million was lower by 46 percent compared with P323.6 million a year ago.

“Gross profit from sales of real estate and club shares for 2013 of P59.9 million was also lower than the gross profit of P206.4 million due to lower sales of real estate and club shares,” Belle said.

The company did not launch new real estate projects last year as it focused on the integrated casino project.

General expenses more than doubled to P642.6 million from P275.5 million on higher cost from the casino project, increased depreciation expenses and higher administrative expenses.

In March last year, the local units of Melco Crown formally inked its partnership with Belle for the integrated casino project, whose construction started early in 2010.

City of Dreams Manila will offer 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games. It is scheduled to start operations this year.

The integrated casino project is Melco Crown’s first gaming foray outside Macau where it operates the City of Dreams and Altira Macau casinos. City of Dreams Macau is famous for its world-class gaming and entertainment offerings, including The House of Dancing Water Show and party place Club Cubic.

It will be the second casino complex to open at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s 120-hectare Entertainment City, which is groomed to become the Philippines’ version of the Las Vegas strip. In March last year, port mogul Enrique Razon opened the $1.2-billion Solaire Resort and Casino.