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Belle Corp operating income rises 21 pct in 2014

Philippine-listed Belle Corp saw its consolidated net income fall 30 percent year-on-year in 2014 even as its operating income grew 21 percent, boosted by earnings from a unit with interests in the City of Dreams Manila casino resort (pictured).

The casino venue only opened officially on February 2 – outside Belle’s results reporting period – after a soft opening on December 14. But Belle makes money from a lease on the property, with payment accruing in the pre-opening period.

Group wide, Belle’s consolidated net income for the year decreased to PHP2.56 billion (US$57.1 million) from PHP3.64 billion in 2013. The firm said the 2013 numbers had been inflated by PHP1.5 billion in net non-recurring gains.

Nonetheless the company added it achieved record operating revenues in 2014 of PHP3.16 billion – up 21 percent on the PHP2.62 billion achieved in the prior-year period.

Belle stated its 2014 operating growth was due to “higher revenue from its lease of the City of Dreams Manila property to Philippine entities controlled by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd,” a reference to the Macau-focused casino operator that is now running City of Dreams Manila.

Belle’s principal assets include 6.2 hectares of land located at Entertainment City in Paranaque City, a district of Metro Manila. The site is being leased on a long-term basis to Melco Crown as the site of City of Dreams Manila, which consists of more than 30 hectares measured by building gross floor area, said Belle in its results filing.

Other factors in Belle’s operational gains for 2014 included higher income from sales of real estate in the Philippines, and increased income from its listed subsidiaries – Premium Leisure Corp and Pacific Online Systems Corp.

Premium Leisure is 78 percent owned by Belle, and has a share in the gaming revenues of City of Dreams Manila. It is also part of the consortium that holds the gaming licence for the venue issued by the local regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).

Premium Leisure reported net income of approximately PHP1.34 billion for 2014 compared to a net loss of PHP8.7 million in 2013.

– GGRAsia

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