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Belle earnings fall 38% to P205.8 million on higher operating expenses


By Zinnia B. Dela Peña Updated April 16, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]

MANILA, Philippines - Weighed down by higher operating expenses, upscale leisure estate developer and gaming firm Belle Corp. reported a 38-percent drop in net earnings last year to P205.8 million.

Based on its audited financial report submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Belle said it registered consolidated revenues of P1.38 billion or more than double the previous year’s P669.1 million. As a result, gross profit grew 69 percent to P666 million.

Total operating expenses, including depreciation and amortization, rose 16 percent to P165.1 million, largely due to increased project activity.

The company’s equitized net earnings from associated companies amounted to P81.3 million, 13 percent higher than the year earlier figure of P72.2 million.

Equitized earnings came from Highlands Prime Inc. and Pacific Online Systems Corp., in which Belle holds a 36- percent and 34-percent stake, respectively.

Highlands Prime is also engaged in real estate development within the Tagaytay Highlands and Midlands complexes while Pacific Online leases online equipment to the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office for their lottery operations in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Belle said interest expense declined five percent to P206.6 million from P216.4 million due mainly to lower interest rates.

From a gain of P166.1 million in 2007, Belle incurred a foreign exchange loss of P135.4 million due to the depreciation of the peso against the dollar to 47.52 as of end-December last year.

The company had total assets of P9.91 billion as of Dec. 31, 2008, five percent higher than the previous level. Stockholders’ equity, meanwhile, stood at P5.34 billion.

Belle is set to launch the sixth phase of Lakeside Fairways, named Katsura, during the first half of the year. Katsura is the first Japanese-inspired upscale subdivision in the Highlands and Midlands complexes.

It will also launch the second phase of The Verandas at Saratoga Hills.

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