The boss of Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp has said that completion date of the group’s new casino project in Quezon City has been deferred to 2023, amid delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to local media reports. Enrique Razon, chairman and chief executive of Bloomberry, had previously flagged the possibility of the new scheme opening at the end 2022.
Mr Razon (pictured in a file photo) made the remarks during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Thursday. Bloomberry runs the Solaire Resort and Casino at Entertainment City, in the Philippine capital, Manila.
According to previous commentary, the new project, called Solaire North, will have a 40-storey tower and sit on a 1.5-hectare (3.7-acre) plot at a development called Vertis North, Quezon City, also part of Metro Manila.
The CEO said that work on Solaire North had “slowed” because of “various health and safety measures” set up to protect workers involved in the project.
“Despite tough construction conditions, we look forward to delivering a high-quality product by 2023, in time for a potential strong economic recovery that usually follows a crisis and the return of international travel and tourism,” Mr Razon was quoted as saying by the Manila Standard newspaper.
In his Thursday comments, Mr Razon said the group would exercise prudence and restraint in managing its balance sheet and finances. He said additionally that the company would be focused on preserving cash and shoring up profitability, according to media reports.
The executive also said he expected a “rocky” recovery from the negative impact of Covid-19, adding that Bloomberry would be investing the “barest minimum” as a way to get trough the pandemic.
Bloomberry would “maintain prudence” in managing its operating costs and balance sheet, in view of the possibility that the impact of the pandemic could last “for the rest of this year,” said Mr Razon, as with by Philippine media outlet Business Mirror.
The firm’s management team would remain “conscious” of the need to preserve cash, while “bringing revenue and profit levels back up” despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, he added.
Two units of Bloomberry negotiated with banks an additional loan facility amounting to PHP20 billion (US$416 million), which added to PHP73.5 billion the group had arranged previously, the firm announced in December. The additional PHP20-billion credit line would help Bloomberry to “outlive the pandemic”, Mr Razon told shareholders on Thursday.
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