PhilWeb narrows down losses in Q2

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PHILWEB Corp. trimmed its net loss attributable to equity holders of the parent by 76% in the second quarter of 2018, after its revenues jumped by 143% for the period.

In a regulatory filing, the gaming firm said net loss attributable to the parent went down to P16.44 million from April to June, lower than the P68.93 million in the same period a year ago. Revenues meanwhile went up P95.06 million, against the P38.9 million in the second quarter of 2017.

This brought the company’s attributable loss to P45.3 million in the first six months of the year, versus the P141.25-million loss in the same period a year ago. PhilWeb’s revenues reached P172.6 million, 165% higher than the P65.05 million generated in the first half of 2017.

PhilWeb President Dennis O. Valdes attributed the positive performance to the higher number of outlets using its electronic gaming systems (EGS) for the period. The company is an accredited provider of electronic gaming outlets to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR). It currently operates 54 EGS sites, with two outlets dedicated to e-Bingo.

The company also launched a new set of games using the Habanero software, which spurred an increase in its overall gross gaming revenue. The newly launched software also supported the performance of an existing suite of games by PhilWeb using RealTimeGaming software.

“We are pleasantly surprised that the combination of two gaming softwares has not resulted in one cannibalizing the other, but instead, has resulted in growth for both sets of games. We intend to use this learning to continue to introduce new gaming software to our pool of customers, so that we can continue to attract new players to our e-Games outlets,” Mr. Valdes said in a statement.

The company also noted that it managed to generate positive earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) for the first time since 2016. EBITDA for the second quarter hit P6.8 million, bringing its second half EBITDA to P2.4 million.

“I am deeply committed to getting PhilWeb back to its former profitability levels, during which times we were able to pay out high dividends to stockholders and generate significant share price increases as well,” PhilWeb Chairman Gregorio Ma. Araneta III said in a statement.

Mr. Araneta took over as PhilWeb’s chairman after buying out tycoon Roberto V. Ongpin’s 53.76% shares in the company for P2 billion in 2016. The share sale came after PAGCOR’s rejection of the company’s license renewal at the time, causing the shut down of 286 operating e-gaming cafés.

Mr. Ongpin sold his stake in the firm after then-newly elected President Rodrigo R. Duterte singled him out as an “oligarch.”

“We believe those times will come back soon, as operators gain more trust in our service quality and PAGCOR sees the consistently increasing remittances that we deliver to them for their various charitable programs,” he added.

Shares in PhilWeb rose 5.44% or 28 centavos to close at P5.43 apiece on Friday. — Arra B. Francia