State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) reported an increase in profit for full-year 2014. Net income topped PHP3.25 billion (US$73.7 million) last year, up by 5.05 percent from 2013, according to official data.
The figure was 5.82 percent higher than the previously stated full-year goal, Pagcor said in the report published on Monday.
Revenue for the whole of 2014 fell by 1.32 percent year-on-year to PHP39.99 billion, with the corporation reporting a loss of PHP12.17 million on foreign exchange. Gaming revenue however increased by 8.51 percent from the previous year to PHP29.93 billion in 2014, but still below 2014′s annual target of PHP31.02 billion.
Pagcor, an operator of publicly owned casinos as well as the regulator for the country’s entire casino industry, on Monday said cost cutting contributed to the higher profit in 2014. Total expenses – including operating expenses and contributions to the government – amounted to PHP36.74 billion last year, down by 1.85 percent from 2013.
Contributions to different government departments combined with tax payments reached an aggregate of PHP18.83 billion in 2014, Pacgor said. That included PHP14.16 billion directly transferred to the Bureau of the Treasury. Pagcor is required by law to forfeit at least 50 percent of its annual gross earnings to the government’s treasury bureau.
The gaming regulator however will not have to pay corporate tax, as a ruling released last week by the Philippines Supreme Court ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to stop collecting such tax on the gaming operations of Pagcor.
Despite the improving results, Philippine state auditors have recently criticised the country’s casino regulator for investing in non-core assets and in gaming venues that have struggled to pay for themselves.
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Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance