Travel, gaming slump hits City of Dreams lessor

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BELLE Corp., the listed lessor and co-licensee of City of Dreams Manila, swung to a loss in the third quarter due to the continued impact of low tourist arrivals and the ban on gaming operations because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The listed firm reported on Thursday that it booked an attributable net loss of P45.91 million during the three months to September, a turnaround of last year’s attributable net profit of P513.51 million.

Its total revenues dropped 43% to P905.05 million, as gaming revenues slumped 85% to P76.89 million.

On a year-to-date basis, Belle’s attributable net income is down 90% to P236.11 million, while its revenues were halved to P2.91 billion.

Its consolidated recurring net income, which excludes extraordinary and one-time items, dropped 75% to P680.3 million.


“The decreases in revenues and profits resulted primarily from COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) related developments,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

Even before the lockdowns, Belle said it had seen declining tourist arrivals hitting its operations. The blow sunk deeper when the government imposed a ban on casino operations in mid-March, pushing the company to temporarily suspend gaming at City of Dreams Manila.

Gaming revenues from the integrated resort and casino — the primary growth driver of Belle — dropped 86% to P324.8 million during the nine-month period.

Aside from the impact on City of Dreams Manila, the coronavirus pandemic has weighed on Belle’s 50.1%-owned Pacific Online Systems Corp., which leases online betting equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The company reported a 71% revenue decline to P221.3 million.

Revenues from real estate likewise slid 10% to P2.37 billion because of lower sales from the company’s properties in Tagaytay.

Shares in Belle at the stock exchange closed at P1.47 each on Thursday, up seven centavos or 5% from the last session. — Denise A. Valdez