BELLE Corp. reported a 9.6% decrease in consolidated net income last year to P2.92 billion as the company recorded a double-digit fall in revenues with the impact of small-town lottery operations on its business of leasing online betting equipment.

Revenues in 2019 plunged 12.1% to P7.47 billion after the weaker results of Pacific Online Systems Corp., which leases the betting equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for the agency’s lottery and keno operations.

Pacific Online, which is 50.1%-owned by Belle subsidiary Premium Leisure Corp. (PLC), posted a 48.7% drop in revenues to P990 million.

“This was due to competition from the small-town lottery, and the temporary suspension of lottery and keno operations by the PCSO during the third quarter of 2019,” Belle said in its disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday.

“With the suspensions since lifted, Pacific Online is working closely with the PCSO and its network of agents to boost the attractiveness of the pari-mutuel games it offers, and is working to implement cost efficiency measures across its operations,” it added.

Belle’s real estate operations registered an 11% rise in revenues to P3.5 billion, of which P2.67 billion came from leasing the land and building comprising City of Dreams Manila to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp. Real estate sales and property management activities at the Tagaytay Highlands complex contributed the balance of P832 million.

Belle said its primary growth driver last year was its share in the gaming revenues at City of Dreams Manila. It remained resilient during the period, the company said.

PLC had a share of P2.98 billion in the gaming earnings of the integrated resort in 2019, although that slice is lower by 7% compared with the P3.21 billion a year earlier.

Belle said to mitigate the decline, it decreased its total costs and expenses by 16% to P3.34 billion, allowing the company to post a recurring net income of P3.44 billion or just slightly lower than the level a year earlier.

On Friday, the listed developer of tourism and leisure destinations in the Philippines saw its shares climb by 1.32% to close at P1.54 each. — Victor V. Saulon