BINGO  OPERATOR  SEES  PROFIT  RISING  TO  200%  THIS  YEAR

MANILA, AUGUST 22, 2006
(STAR) By Zinnia B. Dela Peña - Publicly-listed gaming firm Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LRWC) is eyeing as much as a 200-percent jump in its net profit this year on robust earnings contributions from its bingo and Internet gaming operations.

At the sidelines of the company’s stockholders’ meeting Friday, LRWC president Alfredo Benitez said the firm is looking at a net income of P120 million by the end of the year compared with only P64.1 million in 2005.

"Judging on the company’s strong performance in the first two quarters of the year, LRWC is poised for another impressive growth in net profit and revenues," Benitez said.

In the six months ending June this year, LRWC chalked in a net income of P58.28 million or an increase of 131 percent from the previous level on higher sales from its bingo operations, especially its latest hi-tech bingo variant, Rapid Bingo, and additional earnings contribution from 70-percent owned subsidiary First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp.

Total sales grew 19 percent to P1.59 billion for the first six months from P1.33 billion the same period a year earlier.

Since its introduction in August 2005, Rapid Bingo has seen a significant jump in the company’s sales, rising to P133.97 million from only P107,000.

"We’re satisfied with how the public has taken to the new forms of bingo games that we introduced only last year. But we’re more excited about how our international gaming host subsidiary has started to contribute significantly to our bottomline," Benitez said.

Benitez said First Cagayan, an international host for Internet gaming providers that cater to online players overseas, contributed P69.84 million to LRWC’s revenues.

As of June 2006, First Cagayan had a total of 22 registered licensees, of which 12 were already in operation. Pending applications stood at eight.

To ensure long-term growth, LRWC will continue to expand its non-traditional bingo operations within existing sites and set up more hosting facilities to accommodate the growing number of online gaming locators in the country.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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