EARNINGS of Belle Corp., the listed operator of City of Dreams Manila, dropped by 31% in the first quarter as tourist arrivals fell due to the Taal eruption and the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In a statement Friday, the company said its consolidated net income stood at P577 million, down from P835 million in the same period last year. Consolidated revenues also fell 25% to P1.42 billion.
“The effects of the pandemic began with declining tourist arrivals prior to the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine nationwide and was compounded by the temporary suspension of gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila on March 16…,” it said.
Regulators suspended gaming operations since mid-March as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Belle said it gets most of its revenues from gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila. Because of the suspension, the company’s gaming revenues slumped 39% to P445 million in the first quarter.
Real estate revenues fell 8% to P754 million, as the decline in its Tagaytay business was partly offset by consistent revenues from leasing to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corp.
The company said it raised P668 million from leasing land and buildings comprising City of Dreams Manila to Melco. However, its real estate sales and property management activities in Tagaytay declined 44% to P86 million due to the eruption of Taal Volcano in January.
“City of Dreams Manila is using this time to prioritize the health of its employees, to establish protocols that ensure a safe working and recreational environment and to support the government in keeping people safe and restarting the economy,” the company said.
Shares in Belle at the stock exchange inched up four centavos or 3.05% to P1.35 each on Friday. — Denise A. Valdez