Belle Corporation (Belle) reelected the Company’s Board of Directors for 2023-2024 at its hybrid Annual Shareholders’ Meeting held on April 24, 2023 and livestreamed via Zoom webinar.
Maintaining their respective directorships were Willy Ocier, Elizabeth Anne Uychaco, Jackson Ongsip, Jacinto Ng, Jr., Armin Antonio Raquel Santos, Virginia Yap, Joseph Chua, Maria Gracia Pulido Tan and Amando Tetangco, Jr.
“In 2022, our Company’s performance improved significantly compared to 2021 from the return of consumer demand particularly in the leisure and tourism markets and the impact of the overall growth of the Philippine economy amid the drop in COVID-19 cases and further easing of restrictions,” said Mr. Ongsip during the annual event.
Below is the full text of Mr. Ongsip’s report:
To our Shareholders, Stakeholders and Guests, good afternoon. Thank you for joining Belle Corporation’s 2023 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.
In 2022, our Company’s performance improved significantly compared to 2021 from the return of consumer demand particularly in the leisure and tourism markets and the impact of the overall growth of the Philippine economy amid the drop in COVID-19 cases and further easing of restrictions. We benefited because of efforts to enhance strategic customer partnerships and cost efficiency measures.
I am pleased to report that our earnings last year are nearing pre-pandemic levels despite challenges posed by the tightening of fiscal conditions, particularly high inflation and rising interest rates. Belle’s strong results in 2022 and mission to enhance shareholder value allowed your Company to declare a cash dividend of Php0.06/share, or approximately Php600.0 Million, which was paid in full on March 30, 2023.
Belle’s consolidated net income of Php1,710.0 Million in 2022 was up by 130% versus the Php745.0 Million posted in 2021. Meanwhile, our consolidated revenues also grew by 58% to Php5,419.0 Million from Php3,420.0 Million in 2021 with all our business units actively contributing to our higher revenues.
Revenues from Belle’s 2022 real estate operations, which was comprised of the Company’s lease of the land and buildings in City of Dreams Manila, and real estate sales and estate management services at its Tagaytay Highlands Complex, increased by 97% to Php3,339.0 Million, from Php1,694.0 Million in 2021.
Our gaming revenue share in City of Dreams Manila, through Belle’s subsidiary Premium Leisure Corp., was up by 20% to Php1,561.0 Million from Php1,300.0 Million in 2021.
Pacific Online Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Premium Leisure Corp. that leases online betting equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for their lottery operations, continued its steady recovery in 2022. Pacific Online revenues reached Php519.0 Million, showing a 22% increase from Php426.0 Million in 2021.
Belle’s balance sheet remains solid, with our Company’s assets covering our current liabilities by over 20 times, and our long-term debt by almost 10 times at the close of 2022. Our total debt-to-equity ratio stood at a conservative 15%.
We will continue to explore and pursue expansion opportunities and potential ventures, maximizing our strength and experience as a developer in our distinctive communities while managing risks and exercising financial prudence.
Furthermore, we are exploring opportunities to expand and complement the existing 6.2-hectare City of Dreams Manila property using our approximately 1.5 hectare landbank, which will increase its total lot area to around 7.7 hectares.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Taal Volcano eruption, and other climate-related business disruptors, we have worked to protect our operations and stakeholders through regular risk evaluations and disaster resiliency measures.
Our businesses play an important role in our communities. Therefore, we continue to perform our role in raising awareness on sustainability initiatives and helping educate stakeholders so we can all make positive impacts to our environment. All our sustainability efforts are founded on our strong commitment to good corporate governance. We will keep on empowering our host community members through our corporate social responsibility arm Belle Kaagapay’s livelihood and education programs in partnership with SM Foundation, Inc.
This year, Belle will celebrate its 50th anniversary. We will carry on the tradition of service excellence and making the finer things within reach for our customers and delivering shareholder value.
I would like to thank our Board of Directors for their wisdom, our Management team for their leadership, our team members for their hard work, loyalty and passion and our dear shareholders for your continued support.
Thank you and good day.
About Belle Corporation
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 79.78%-owned subsidiary, Premium Leisure Corp., 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.