SY-LED Belle Corp. on Monday said it has earmarked up to P4 billion for capital spending this year, the bulk of which will be utilized for the payment of various contractors of its City of Dreams entertainment complex.
Last year, the company’s capex stood at P3 billion.
Manuel Gana, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Belle Corp., said the company has earmarked P3 billion to P4 billion in capital expenditure mainly for the settlement of unpaid contractors of City of Dreams.
“The capex for this year is about P3 billion to P4 billion. A lot of it is for finishing up on payments of contractors of City of Dreams,” Gana said on the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting.
City of Dreams Manila is the second of four integrated resorts to open in the 297-acre (120 hectares) Entertainment City, a Las Vegas Strip-style casino hub designed to compete against those in Macau and Singapore.
City of Dreams Manila has 981 hotel rooms under the Crown Towers, Nobu and Hyatt brands. It operates 380 gaming tables, 1,700 slot machines and 1,700 electronic table games that will cater to the VIP and mass market.
Gana said that the property and gaming company is optimistic on sustaining its growth this year, mainly propelled by its gaming subsidiary Premium Leisure Corp.
“We do expect significantly higher earnings from our gaming subsidiary. So, we are very excited about the prospects for Premium Leisure. As you know, we get a share of gaming earnings from City of Dreams,” he said.
Premium Leisure, which is 79-percent owned by Belle, is the beneficiary of an operating agreement with Melco Crown, which entitles it to get a profit share from City of Dreams’ gaming earnings.
Although Macau and other Asian gaming markets contracted last year, the Philippine gaming market grew at an impressive rate of 17 percent during the same period.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) earlier announced that total industry’s gross gaming revenues reached P130 billion last year compared to P111 billion in 2014.
“With the completion of the ramp-up of City of Dreams Manila’s gaming operations, and with our legal real estate development business expected to continue the improvement we saw in 2015, 2016 looks like it will be another exciting year for your corporation,” Frederic Dybuncio, Belle president and chief executive, told the company’s stockholders.
Belle also owns significant real estate assets in Tagaytay City.
Last year, Belle realized a net income of P1.42 billion, down 44 percent from P2.55 billion in 2014. But its recurring net income soared 29 percent to P1.33 billion versus the P1.03 billion posted in 2014.