Profit at Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp fell 40.0 percent year-on-year in the first quarter to March 31, on revenues that actually grew in all operating segments.
The firm said in a Wednesday press release – accompanying its unaudited results that were filed to the Philippine Stock Exchange – that the decline in profit was due to “meaningfully lower foreign exchange gains and higher interest expenses”.
Such profit was PHP2.21 billion (US$42.5 million) compared to nearly PHP3.70 billion in the prior-year period.
Bloomberry Resorts subsidiaries own and operate Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila (pictured), the Philippine capital, and the Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino on the South Korean holiday island of Jeju. Most of the group’s resort revenue is generated by Solaire.
In the gaming segment, Bloomberry Resorts reported group wide gross gaming revenue (GGR) of PHP13.6 billion, down nearly 1 percent year-on-year. Gaming revenue – net of promotional allowances – rose 0.9 percent year-on-year, to nearly PHP8.85 billion, compared to nearly PHP8.77 billion in the prior-year period.
But VIP GGR at Solaire actually fell 15.9 percent, to PHP5.98 billion, from PHP7.11 billion a year earlier. The first-quarter hold rate in VIP play fell 39 basis points, to 3.22 percent, from 3.61 percent a year earlier, said the company.
Mass-table play GGR at the Manila property rose by 23.5 percent in the reporting period, to nearly PHP4.00 billion, from PHP3.24 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Slot game revenue increased 8.7 percent, to just under PHP3.64 billion, from nearly PHP3.35 billion in the first quarter 2018.
The group’s quarterly consolidated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were PHP4.50 billion, down 0.8 percent on the nearly PHP4.54 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Enrique Razon, chairman and chief executive of Bloomberry Resorts, was quoted in the press release accompanying the numbers, describing the first-quarter results as “solid”.
“Our net revenues and EBITDA were driven by our highly-profitable mass gaming segments where our innovative customer experience and engagement programmes continue to reward us with a database of loyal patrons,” Mr Razon was further quoted as saying.
Receivables in the first quarter – usually associated for gaming operators with debts owed by customers on credit-based VIP play – rose 3.7 percent, to nearly PHP2.91 billion, from nearly PHP2.81 billon.
Hotel, food and beverage revenue rose 7.5 percent, to just under PHP972.18 million. Retail and other revenue leapt by 40.6 percent year-on-year, to PHP870.62 million.
Bloomberry Resorts mentioned in its press release on its first-quarter earnings, that on March 21, the board had approved and declared a PHP0.15 per share cash dividend to stockholders on record as of April 5. The dividend was paid in April.
The group gave some commentary on legal action against it in the United States that had been disclosed by the casino firm during the reporting period.
In February the group said its gaming operations unit Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels Inc had been issued with a summons in a civil legal action in the United States regarding the February 2016 theft online – reportedly involving US$81 million – of cash from Bangladesh’s central bank.
While reiterating the casino group’s argument that the “proximate cause for the loss of Bangladesh Bank is its own negligence,” Bloomberry Resorts added: “Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels has accounted for all the funds that passed through its bank account, and had identified all persons who used the questioned funds in Solaire.”
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