Profit at Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp increased 50.3 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019, on revenues that grew in all operating segments.
The firm said in a Thursday press release – accompanying its unaudited results that were filed to the Philippine Stock Exchange – that such profit was nearly PHP2.46 billion (US$47.4 million) compared to approximately PHP1.64 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.
Enrique Razon, chairman and chief executive of Bloomberry Resorts, was quoted in the press release accompanying the numbers describing the second-quarter results as “solid”, led by “Solaire’s robust performance across all its gaming segments”.
Mr Razon added: “It has been a great year so far and we will strive to carry this momentum into the next six months.”
In its press release, Bloomberry Resorts said it had a PHP40 billion loan facility available, meant to fund the construction, pre-opening, and pre-operating expense requirements of Solaire North in Quezon City. As of June 30, the company had not drawn on this facility, it said.
Solaire North is to be located on the outskirts of the Philippine capital Manila. The firm said in its second quarter results it planned to start Solaire North’s construction during the third quarter this year.
In the gaming segment, Bloomberry Resorts reported group wide gross gaming revenue (GGR) of PHP14.76 billion, up by 19.1 percent year-on-year. Gaming revenue – net of promotional allowances – rose 21.0 percent year-on-year, to PHP9.61 billion, compared to nearly PHP7.95 billion in the prior-year period.
VIP GGR at Solaire jumped by 32.5 percent, to PHP6.18 billion, from PHP4.67 billion a year earlier. The second-quarter hold rate in VIP play increased 100 basis points, to 3.49 percent, from 2.49 percent a year earlier, said the company.
Mass-table play GGR at the Manila property declined by 3.0 percent in the reporting period, to nearly PHP4.08 billion, from PHP4.21 billion in the prior-year quarter, negatively impacted by a lower hold rate.
Slot game revenue increased 26.0 percent, to PHP4.36 billion, from about PHP3.46 billion in the second quarter 2018.
As for Jeju Sun Hotel and Casino, it posted gaming revenues of PHP134.7 million, higher by PHP82.3 million or by 157.2 percent in year-on-year terms. Such performance was helped by the offer to patrons of “competitive casino programmes,” said Bloomberry Resorts.
The group’s quarterly consolidated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were PHP4.96 billion, up 32.2 percent on the nearly PHP3.75 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Gaming receivables – mainly related to debt linked to casino markers issued to gaming promoters and VIP premium casino patrons – rose to nearly PHP4.12 billion at June-end, from nearly PHP2.78 billon on December 31, 2018.
Overall receivables at Bloomberry Resorts stood at PHP4.51 billion as of June 30. According to the company, receivables over 90 days amounted to PHP384.9 million, up by PHP38 million in year-on-year terms.
Second quarter non-gaming revenues at Solaire were PHP1.98 billion, up 22.4 percent in year-on-year terms, “driven by higher rental income as well as incrementally higher hotel and food and beverage revenues,” said the firm.
Hotel occupancy at Solaire in the second quarter was 89.4 percent, compared to 93.2 percent in the same quarter last year. Bloomberry Resorts said the decline in occupancy was due to the closure and planned conversion of Solaire’s Grand Ballroom into a new gaming space, resulting in fewer hotel bookings associated with conventions and other pre-booked events.
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"One thing that is certain under the coronavirus era is that the biggest beneficiaries are the illegal operators, both bricks and mortar and online"
Partner and director overseeing government affairs at casino industry consultancy Global Market Advisors