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Belle allots P4 billion for capex

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated April 16, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Leisure and gaming firm Belle Corp. is allotting P4 billion for its capital expenditures this year, mostly to go to the ongoing development of its $750-million integrated resort complex, Belle Grande Manila Bay.

Willy N. Ocier, vice-chair of Belle, said the rest of the capital budget will be used to complete the construction of the third 9 holes for the Tagaytay Midlands golf course as well as the development of the newest subdivision, Sycamore Heights, within Lakeside Fairways.

With more than 23 hectares in gross land area, Sycamore Heights comprises 331 residential lots averaging 374 sqm per lot. It is slated for completion by 2013.

For the gaming side, Ocier said construction of the Belle Grande Manila Bay is in full swing with a soft opening in the second quarter of 2013 followed by a grand opening in the fourth quarter.

 “There’s plenty of interior work to be done. But we are rushing work,” Ocier said.

Located on a 6.2-hectare prime property along Roxas Boulevard, Belle Grande Manila Bay will have more than 25 hectares of gross floor area and will house approximately 1.8 hectares of gaming space with 350 gaming tables and 1,900 slot machines. The first floor will cater of the mass market while over 6,000 sqm of space will cater to VIPs.

Belle Grande Manila Bay will offer more than two hectares of retail and restaurant facilities and 880 hotel rooms under three brands of 5-star and 6-star quality.

This year’s capital expenditure budget, which is lower than the P5 billion spent in 2011, will be partly funded by proceeds from a recent stock rights offering.      

Belle reported a 57 percent decline in net profit last year to P200.52 million on lower real estate sales and contributions from associated companies.

Revenues fell 45 percent to P696.62 million while equity in net earnings from Highlands Prime Inc. and Pacific Online Systems Corp. dipped by 10 percent to P140.48 million.

In the third quarter of 2011, Belle introduced three new pads for log cabins at The Woodlands and nine new lots in Lakeside Fairways phase 6 (Cotswold). These project extensions will carry potential sales of about P225 million.

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