The Board of Directors and officers of Belle Corporation (from left): Armin Antonio Raquel Santos, Executive Vice President, Business Unit Head for Integrated Resorts; Virginia Yap, Director; Jacinto Ng, Jr., Director; Manuel Gana, President, Chief Executive Officer, Director; Willy Ocier, Vice Chairman; Emilio De Quiros, Jr., Chairman of the Board; Elizabeth Anne Uychaco, Vice Chairperson; Cesar Virata, Independent Director; Amando Tetangco, Jr., Independent Director; Gregorio Kilayko, Independent Director; Jackson Ongsip, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Compliance Officer; A. Bayani Tan, Corporate Secretary; and Arthur Sy, Assistant Corporate Secretary
Belle Corporation held its Annual Stockholders’ Meeting on April 22, 2019 at the SMX Convention Center Manila.
“We are delighted to inform you that your Company delivered strong results for 2018 in spite of a challenging business climate. Our key businesses proved resilient in the face of changing sector dynamics and allowed us to achieve record revenues and recurring net income for the year,” said Manuel Gana, Belle Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Gana was reelected to Belle’s Board of Directors. Also reelected were Mr. Emilio De Quiros, Jr., Chairman; Willy Ocier, Vice Chairman; Elizabeth Anne Uychaco, Vice Chairperson; Gregorio Kilayko, Independent Director; Jacinto Ng, Jr., Director; Amando Tetangco, Jr., Independent Director; Jose Sio, Director; Cesar Virata, Independent Director; and Virginia Yap, Director.
It was announced during the meeting that Belle Corporation’s total revenues increased by 6% to P8.5 billion last year, an all-time high, while recurring net income of 3.6 billion in 2018 was likewise a new record, exceeding the previous high of P3.3 billion in 2017 by about 10%.
Also announced was the payment of cash dividend of about P1.2 billion or 12 centavos a share on March 28, 2019.
Below is the full text of the president’s report:
Good afternoon to our dear Shareholders, Stakeholders and Guests. Thank you for joining us today in the 2019 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Belle Corporation.
We are delighted to inform you that your Company delivered strong results for 2018 in spite of a challenging business climate. Our key businesses proved resilient in the face of changing sector dynamics and allowed us to achieve record revenues and recurring net income for the year.
Total revenues improved by 6% to P8.5 billion in 2018, a new high following the previous record of P8 billion in 2017. Recurring net income of P3.6 billion in 2018 was likewise a new record, exceeding the previous high of P3.3 billion in 2017 by about 10%.
This growth was driven by our exposure to the growing integrated resort industry and by our legacy real estate business in the Tagaytay Highlands and Midlands areas.
Our integrated resort business is conducted through our investment in City of Dreams Manila and our operating partnership with Melco Resorts and Entertainment Philippines Corporation. City of Dreams Manila continued to grow its client base - both foreign and domestic - capitalizing on record tourist arrivals, timely introduction of new attractions and refreshed resort areas.
The lease of land and buildings in City of Dreams Manila to Melco realized revenues of P2.4 billion, representing an improvement of 6%.
The share in gaming earnings of City of Dreams Manila of our subsidiary Premium Leisure Corp. increased by 23% to P3.2 billion.
Belle’s real estate development and related activities in the Tagaytay Highlands and Midlands areas also saw very healthy growth, as revenues therefrom grew by 19% to P979 million.
It was a challenging year for Pacific Online Systems Corporation, which saw its revenues contract by 17% to P1.9 billion, due to the competition from the small town lottery. However, Pacific Online continued to be profitable in 2018 and paid cash dividends of P268 million or 60 centavos per share, in addition to a 100% stock dividend. In the meantime, we are also evaluating and exploring additional business options for Pacific Online.
Belle continues to have a strong balance sheet, which gives us a measure of protection during difficult economic times while at the same time allowing us the flexibility to consider major investment opportunities. As of December 31, 2018, Belle’s current assets covered 171% of its current liabilities and 130% of its total debt. The Company’s debt-to-equity ratio was a very conservative 25%, which is well below its peers in the real estate and integrated resort industries.
Belle’s strong operating performance and financial position enabled your Company to pay a cash dividend of about P1.2 billion or 12 centavos a share on March 28, 2019.
We see our businesses as well positioned to continue achieving operating growth in 2019, and are vigilant for opportunities in the premium leisure and tourism development space.
We remain committed to social good through Belle Kaagapay, your Company’s corporate social responsibility arm. We pursue initiatives on health, education and livelihood to help address concerns on malnutrition, poverty, illiteracy and environment protection. We are active in supporting initiatives which would empower our host communities to increase their productivity.
We have also dedicated time and resources to evaluate our businesses and organization to determine the systems needed to ensure that we are in fact able to sustain a successful future for the Company. These efforts have resulted in our maiden sustainability report, Creating a Sustainable Tomorrow, which highlights our environmental, social and governance performance. We invite you to pick up a copy at the entrance.
Your Corporation’s success is the collective effort of many - from the prudent guidance of our Board, to the diligent execution by our Management team and staff, and to the support of our Shareholders.
Thank you for your continued support.
Belle Corporation is a developer of tourism and leisure destinations in the Philippines. Its principal asset is the City of Dreams Manila in PAGCOR Entertainment City by Manila Bay, which is being leased on a long-term basis to Melco Resorts and Entertainment (Philippines) Corporation (Melco). In addition to lease income, Belle is accorded a share in revenues or earnings from City of Dreams Manila’s gaming operations through the operating agreement between its 78.7%-owned subsidiary, Premium Leisure Corp. (PLC), and Melco. Belle also owns approximately one hectare of presently undeveloped land across from the City of Dreams Manila site.
South of Metro Manila, Belle owns significant real estate assets and develops premium residential resort projects around Tagaytay City. Among its exclusive destinations are the club and golf facilities and residential communities of Tagaytay Highlands and Tagaytay Midlands, as well as a further 800 hectares intended for future development.