Shareholders of Premium Leisure Corp. have received a little bonus. The Philippines-listed company, whose parent company, Belle Corp., owns a piece of City of Dreams (CoD) Manila, has declared a cash dividend of $0.00097 per share. That represents a 14.4% increase over last year’s dividend and the payout is expected to be made on March 22.
The company’s board of directors agreed to dividend payout last Friday and announced it via a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange. All shareholders as of March 8 are entitled to the dividend and a total of $30.54 million will be dispersed.
Belle Corp. owns 78.7% of Premium Leisure. Because of its ownership, it is eligible to receive a percentage of the gaming income of CoD Manila, which is operated by Melco Resorts and Entertainment. The company has seen increased profits over the last year, reporting last October that its net profits for the first three quarters increased 1.2% to $42.26 million year-on-year. This came in spite of an 18.5% decline on third-quarter net profit year-on-year.
While the 14.4% increase is nice, it wasn’t as great as what shareholders have seen in the past. Belle’s board agreed to pay $0.0023 per share in February of last year, which was a 26.3% over the year prior. At that time, Belle reported a net profit increase for the first nine months of 2017 of 37.1%.
CoD Manila first opened in December of 2014, with a grand opening two months later. It is a sister property to CoD Macau and is the second of four billion-dollar casinos to come to Manila following the launch of the Solaire Resort & Casino in 2013. The resort offers six hotel towers, around 289 gaming tables, 1,620 slot machines and 16 electronic table games.
Belle may have been able to increase its bottom line, but CoD’s operator, Melco Resorts and Entertainment, hasn’t been as lucky. It reported total revenue of $1.22 billion for 2018 last December, a decrease of 11% year-on-year. Of that amount, CoD contributed $141.7 million, representing a dip of 4.4% from the previous year’s figures.
The gambling atmosphere in the Philippines remains a little unstable due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to curb casino expansion. This has not had a major impact on gambling revenue so far, but it could prove to be detrimental in the long term.