First-half gaming revenue at Kingston Financial Group Ltd, the operator of two so-called satellite casinos in Macau, fell by 10.8 percent compared to the same period last year, the company announced on Thursday.
Kingston Financial told the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that it recorded gaming revenue of about HKD215.71 million (US$27.56 million) in its financial first half, ended September 30, compared to HKD241.90 million a year earlier. The figure also includes revenue from food and drink sold in the casinos.
The company blamed the U.S.-China trade war and the ongoing Hong Kong “anti-government protest crisis” for having “cast a shadow” over the Macau economy, driving tourists away.
The first-half revenue in all of Kingston Financial’s business taken together also decreased by about 12.6 percent to about HKD1.37 billion. First-half profit attributable to the owners of the company fell by 19.3 percent to about HKD477.60 million. The company attributed the fall in profit mainly to an impairment loss on advances to customers in margin financing amounting to about HKD307.61 million.
Kingston Financial provides financial services, including securities brokerage, underwriting and placements; margin and initial public offering financing; corporate finance advisory services; futures brokerage and asset management services.
The group also runs the Casa Real casino on Macau peninsula and the Grandview casino (pictured) on Taipa, in both cases using SJM Holdings Ltd’s gaming rights.
“The two casinos continued to provide solid contributions to the group,” the company said in its latest filing, adding that revenues from gaming accounted for about 16 percent of the group’s aggregate revenue.
At the end of its financial first half the Kingston Financial casinos contained an aggregate of 67 tables for the mass market and 13 tables in their VIP rooms. Despite the overall gaming revenue decline, the company paid gaming commission worth HKD60.95 million, up by 26.6 percent from the prior-year period.
Kingston Financial’s casinos also feature 239 slot machines, whereas the number of live baccarat machines fell from 140 a year earlier to just two by September 30. That’s despite the company praising those machines for bringing “additional crowds to the property, achieving synergy with the slot machine business”.
Kingston Financial chief executive Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah is still considered one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest women, according to Forbes magazine. However, she saw her ranking in this year’s list of Hong Kong’s 50 Richest People fall from seventh to 28th, with her net worth shrinking from US$12 billion last year to US$3.3 billion as at February 2019.
Kingston Financial’s share price has fallen 58 percent from the HKD2.41 high recorded in early February, after Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission issued in January a warning that the group had 20 shareholders who together controlled more than 91 percent of the listed company.
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