The annual loss at Macau casino investor Success Universe Group Ltd narrowed slightly in 2017, but the results were nonetheless adversely affected by the disruption wrought at its Ponte 16 gaming resort by August’s Typhoon Hato, the strongest storm to hit the city in 53 years, said the firm.
Ponte 16 (pictured) is at the city’s Inner Harbour district, the area most badly affected by the flooding that accompanied the typhoon. Images of the main gaming floor at the property inundated by water were widely shared on social media.
“The group shared a loss of the associates relating to Ponte 16, the flagship investment project of the group, for the year ended December 31, 2017 which was mainly due to the performance of Ponte 16 adversely affected by the Super Typhoon Hato in August 2017 and the increase in the loss of the group’s travel business,” Success Universe said in a Thursday filing.
The gaming area on the ground floor of Ponte 16 reportedly suffered flooding to a depth of up to three feet (0.91 metres), with casino operations suspended for several days in the aftermath of the typhoon.
Success Universe’s annual loss for 2017 amounted to approximately HKD29.8 million, compared to approximately HKD31.0 million in 2016.
The figure was affected by a HKD37.9-million loss recognised on the disposal in September of a business related to China’s official lottery system.
Loss per share in 2017 from continuing and discontinued operations was HKD0.61, compared to HKD0.63 a year earlier.
For the year ended December 31, group revenue was approximately HKD589.9 million, up by approximately 4 percent from approximately HKD564.8 million for the same period of 2016.
As at December 31, the casino of Ponte 16 had 109 gaming tables, consisting of 96 mass gaming tables, seven high-limit tables and six VIP tables. The property’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the reporting year decreased by approximately 19 percent to approximately HKD225.3 million.
But the firm said that “thanks to the increasing number of visitors to Macau and the continual effort and promotions at Ponte 16, there was a satisfactory improvement in the overall revenue of Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16”. That was a reference to the branded five-star hotel at the resort, which saw the average occupancy rate rise to approximately 91 percent during the reporting year, according to the report.
Earlier this month, Hoffman Ma Ho Man, executive director and deputy chairman of Success Universe, told GGRAsia in an interview, that he would like to see Macau move to a system of licensing gaming on a resort basis, rather than on a concession basis.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China