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Gaming firm open to expanding newly acquired hotel

Posted on December 02, 2012 09:57:27 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
LEISURE & RESORTS World Corp. (LRWC) is open to expanding its latest acquisition, Midas Hotel and Casino, as soon as the company is able to grow the hotel’s casino business, a company official said over the weekend.
“Yes, we could possibly expand,” Alfredo B. Reyes, LRWC investor relations head, said in a phone interview last Saturday when asked if expansion of Midas Hotel and Casino was an option after the company acquired last month a 51% controlling stake in Hotel Enterprises of the Philippines, Inc., the hotel’s operator.
“The whole property is close to one hectare in size and there is still some space in the back for either another hotel wing, or additional parking space, or some other expansion,” Mr. Reyes noted.
Midas Hotel and Casino is a 227-room hotel located along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City. It is co-owned by Puregold Price Club, Inc. Chairman Lucio L. Co.
LRWC’s buy-in, valued at P750 million, was finalized on Nov. 9 and is seen to strengthen the company’s hotel portfolio which already includes a 30% minority stake in Binondo Leisure Resources, Inc., operator of Binondo Suites hotel in downtown Chinatown, Manila.
“For now, our main focus is to have more marketing activities to be able to drive more traffic to the casino, and then aside from that, also increase or improve the revenues of the hotel side,” Mr. Reyes said.
A casino dubbed Midas Casino, operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., occupies a portion of the hotel, and currently has around 40 to 50 gaming tables, he noted.

“In terms of the revenues that it is generating, we feel there is still room for improvement,” Mr. Reyes said.
“Because of our experience in gaming, this is something we’re bringing to the table.”
LRWC was originally incorporated in 1957 as Atlas Fertilizer Corp., a company engaged in fertilizer and industrial chemicals production before it shifted in 1999 into real estate development, with a focus on leisure.
The company more than doubled its net income to P154.61 million as of September from P46.74 million in the same nine months last year due to the higher revenues generated by most of its bingo-oriented operating subsidiaries, according to its latest financial report. In the same comparative nine-month periods, revenues rose 14.33% to P3.35 billion from P2.93 billion, while costs and operating expenses increased by 1.02% to P1.98 billion versus P1.96 billion.
Shares of LRWC gained 11 centavos or 1.28% to P8.68 apiece when trading closed on Thursday last week from P8.54 on Wednesday. Philippine financial markets were closed on Friday in observance of Bonifacio Day. -- F. J. G. de la Fuente          

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