Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp reported a net loss of PHP4.70 billion (US$96.0 million) for the second quarter of 2020. That compared with net income of PHP2.46 billion a year earlier.
The firm said in a filing on Thursday its results for the period had been “negatively impacted” by the temporary suspension, since March 16, of gaming operations at its Solaire Resort and Casino (pictured) at Entertainment City in the Philippine capital Manila. However, the property still generated some – albeit limited – gaming revenue for the period, under a so-called ‘dry run’ scheme.
Bloomberry reported a net loss of nearly PHP3.32 billion for the first half of 2020, compared with net income of PHP4.67 billion in the first six months of 2019.
“From June 15, 2020, the relevant authorities have allowed limited dry-run gaming operations at [Solaire] under general community quarantine as a means to fine-tune services in accordance with new normal health and safety protocols,” stated Bloomberry in a separate press release on its second quarter results.
“The limited dry run involves only in-house and select invited guests,” it added. “Solaire remains closed to the public.”
The limited dry run allowed Solaire to record gaming revenue of PHP464.1 million for the second quarter. The figure still represented a 96.5-percent decrease from the nearly PHP13.56 billion recorded by the company in the same period last year. Quarter-on-quarter, GGR at Solaire was down by around 94 percent.
Bloomberry is developing another resort – known as Solaire North – at Quezon City on the outskirts of the Metro Manila area. The firm also has an operation in South Korea called Jeju Sun.
The Korea operation reported no gaming revenue for the quarter “as the management decided to temporarily cease all operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic starting March 21,” said Bloomberry. In the first half, total gaming revenue at Jeju Sun was PHP93.1 million, representing a decline of 76.0 percent in year-on-year terms.
Bloomberry’s group-wide revenue for the April to June period contracted by 92.2 percent, said Bloomberry. It stood at just above PHP896.1 million, compared with PHP11.54 billion a year earlier.
An extensive lockdown for Metro Manila, including its large-scale casino resorts in Entertainment City, was first announced in mid-March, and subsequently extended in increments. In early August, the local authorities said that Metro Manila would return to a stricter anti-Covid-19 lockdown, known as “modified enhanced community quarantine” at least until August 18.
During the pandemic crisis, Metro Manila had already at one stage been under an enhanced community quarantine. That was then eased to modified enhanced community quarantine, and then further relaxed to general community quarantine.
“Bloomberry is not exempt from the seismic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global tourism and the gaming entertainment industry,” said Enrique Razon, Bloomberry’s chairman and chief executive, as quoted in the earnings release.
He added: “While we are uncertain of the pace of business recovery, we will push forward with our key capital project, Solaire North, as we believe that its opening will coincide with a meaningful upcycle that is typical after a period of economic weakness.”
Mr Razon said in June that countermeasures on Covid-19 in the Philippines were likely to push back the completion date of Solaire North. It was now likely for the property to be completed at the end of 2022 or early 2023, he stated at the time.
In the second quarter, group consolidated earnings before interest taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were negative PHP1.96 billion, compared to PHP4.96 billion in the same quarter of 2019. The Solaire property contributed with negative PHP1.85 billion to consolidated EBITDA for the second quarter of 2020, which added to the PHP110.6 million negative EBITDA at Jeju Sun.
Bloomberry’s consolidated EBITDA for the first half of 2020 was PHP1.50 billion, representing a decline of 84.1 percent from the same period last year.
As of June 30, the firm had a consolidated cash and cash equivalents balance of PHP31.16 billion. “The company’s strong cash position will allow it to weather through the challenging environment brought about by the pandemic,” it stated.
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