Genting Hong Kong Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed operator of casino cruise ships and shipyards, as well as an investor in the Resorts World Manila casino resort in the Philippines, narrowed its first-half loss by 60.6 percent.
Such loss was US$55.2 million for the six months to June 30, compared to US$140.1 million a year earlier, on revenue that fell slightly, the group said in a Friday filing to the Hong Kong bourse.
Group revenue for the period was nearly US$729.2 million, compared to US$777.6 million in the prior-year period, a year-on-year decline of 6.2 percent.
The decline in group revenue was mainly due to an unfavourable comparison with “higher third-party shipyard revenue in first-half 2018,” Genting Hong Kong said in its Friday announcement.
The group reported for first-half 2019 an 18.6-percent reduction in operating expenses excluding depreciation and amortisation, to US$527.2 million from US$647.4 million. Expenses relating to shipyard and non-cruise activities fell 59.6 percent, to US$82.2 million, from US$203.7 million.
The board did not recommend the declaration of any interim dividend for the latest reporting period. For the first half 2018, it had declared a dividend of US$0.01 per ordinary share.
In the casino cruise segment, total revenue was US$652.4 million, up from US$642.0 million in the prior-year period. Of the cruise revenue for the first six months of 2019, US$487.1 million came from passenger ticket sales, and US$165.3 million from “onboard revenue”.
The group noted that in the reporting period the number of “capacity days” for cruise operations had been reduced by 11 percent due to the withdrawal of the SuperStar Libra vessel in July 2018 “to be an accommodation ship for subcontractors in the MV Werften Wismar shipyard,” in Germany.
Group earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation swung to a positive US$76.9 million for first-half 2019 versus a loss of US$5 million in first-half 2018.
The loss per ordinary and per diluted share attributable to equity owners of the company for the period was US$0.65 respectively.
The group’s share of profit from joint ventures and associates totalled US$9.1 million in first half 2019 compared with US$15.2 million in first-half 2018.
The decrease was “mainly due to smaller contribution from Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc, which was mainly due to absence of non-operating income recognised in first-half 2018,” said Genting Hong Kong. It was referring to the operator of Resorts World Manila. The Genting unit is an investor in Travellers International alongside Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc.
In August it was announced that Travellers International had started a tender offer in order to be delisted from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The first half filing of Genting Hong Kong noted that outside the reporting period – on August 6 – the company had announced the sale of up to 35 percent of the equity interest in its unit Dream Cruises Holding Ltd for up to US$489 million.
“This results in a US$470 million gain for the group and strengthens the consolidated statement of financial position of the group,” it noted in Friday’s filing.
“The sale is subject to customary closing conditions, which the company expects to be completed by year-end,” it added.
In other commentary, Genting Hong Kong noted that Explorer Dream, a cruise vessel formerly known as SuperStar Virgo, joined Dream Cruises in April this year as the third ship in the fleet of that cruise brand.
“She is sailing in north and east China during summer to bring Dream Cruises brand awareness and in preparation for the early 2021 arrival of the 206,500 gross tons [187,334 metric tonnes] Global Dream to these parts of China,” added the group.
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