South Korean casino operator Paradise Co Ltd swung to a net loss for 2017, as group revenue declined in the fourth quarter. Such loss was approximately KRW19.0 billion (US$17.7 million) for the 12 months to December 31, compared to the KRW55.1-billion profit recorded in the prior year.
The company didn’t give commentary on the reason for the net loss in its Wednesday filing to the Korea Exchange.
Paradise Co reported revenue of KRW668.0 billion for full-year 2017, down 3.9 percent compared with 2016, negatively impacted by a decline in sales in the fourth quarter of 2017.
In the three months to December 31, the company said its revenue fell by 9.2 percent year-on-year, to KRW189.6 billion.
The company had announced in January that its casino revenue declined by 8.6 percent year-on-year in full 2017, to approximately KRW551.86 billion.
Paradise Co’s casino figures are based on the results of four venues it operates in its casino business division. They are: Walkerhill in Seoul; Jeju Grand on Jeju Island (pictured); Busan Casino in the southern port city of Busan; and Paradise City, in Incheon, near the main international airport serving the country’s capital Seoul.
Investment analysts covering the gaming sector say results of foreigner-only casinos in South Korea have suffered from a reported ban by Chinese authorities on tour groups going to the country. Chinese gamblers are reportedly an important customer segment for foreigner-only casinos in South Korea.
According to South Korean media, China had imposed a ban on South Korea-bound group tours as of the autumn of 2016, in retaliation for South Korea’s decision to install the U.S.-supplied Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system close to Chinese territory as a counter to North Korean missile tests. China has never acknowledged the existence of such a ban.
It was subsequently reported by international media that the purported ban was partially lifted at the end of November 2017, but in the following month there were new media reports stating the ban was back in place.
Paradise Co recommended, following its fourth-quarter results, a final dividend of KRW100 per share for the year ended December 31, 2017, to be paid on April 20. It said it represented a dividend yield of 0.47 percent based on the present market price of the company’s stock.
The total dividend for full-year 2017 amounts to approximately KRW8.52 billion, the company said in a separate filing to the Korea Exchange.
Paradise Co also reported its January results to the Korea Exchange on Wednesday. They showed casino revenue up 23.4 percent year-on-year, at KRW53.71 billion. The firm reported table drop of KRW438.4 billion for the first month of 2018, an increase of 2.7 percent from the prior-year period.
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"If you ask who is controlling [Okada Holdings, the controlling shareholder of conglomerate Universal Entertainment] now, I would say my control was fraudulently taken away from me and I am now doing everything in my power to take it back"
Japanese gaming entrepreneur