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City of Dreams Manila drives Premium Leisure earnings higher

PREMIUM LEISURE CORP.’s (PLC) attributable profit rose by 23% in 2018, driven by higher gaming revenues from integrated resort and casino City of Dreams Manila.

In a regulatory filing, PLC said net income attributable to the parent reached P2.16 billion, higher than the P1.76 billion it reported in 2017. This followed a four percent uptick in revenues to P5.15 billion.

The listed firm’s share in City of Dreams Manila’s gaming revenues went up by 23% to P3.21 billion.

“This increase was brought by the growth in the gaming segments of City of Dreams Manila, especially driven by the strong mass market,” the company said. PLC is entitled to a share in the casino’s gaming revenues through its wholly-owned unit Premium Leisure and Amusement, Inc. (PLAI).

PLAI, along with Sy-led Belle Corp. and other consortium members of the SM Group, is a co-grantee of a provisional license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp to operate an integrated casino and resort complex in the state-run Entertainment City.

The company has since partnered with SM Investments Corp. for a cooperation agreement with Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp. for the development and operation of City of Dreams Manila.

On the other hand, revenues were tempered by a 21% drop in PLC’s equipment lease rentals to P1.45 billion due to the decrease in lotto and KENO ticket sales volume. PLC leases online betting equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for lotto operations in Visayas and Mindanao, through its 50.7%-owned subsidiary Pacific Online Systems Corp.

The company attributed the decline to the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion law, “which drove the increase in ticket prices because of documentary stamp tax and at the same time lowered the prize payout due to the tax on winnings.”

PLC’s higher earnings for the year allowed it to declare a regular cash dividend of P0.05024 per share, for a total dividend payment of P1.59 billion. This was paid out to shareholders of record as of March 8 last March 22.

“PLC remains committed to look for various opportunities for growth through profitable investments that will increase the company’s shareholder value for partners and investors alike,” the company said about its plans for 2019.

Incorporated in 1993 originally as Sinophil Exploration Co. for oil and gas exploration, PLC was able to change its name and primary purpose to that of a holding firm in 1997.

– Business World, Arra B. Francia

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