Casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd saw its first-quarter loss attributable to shareholders widen to nearly MYR483.6 million (US$116.7 million), from a quarterly loss of almost MYR418.0 million a year earlier. No dividend has been declared for the three months to March 31.
Outside the first-quarter reporting period, on Monday this week, the group again “temporarily closed” its casino at Resorts World Genting (pictured) until further notice, because of a so-called movement control order imposed by the country’s government as a Covid-19 countermeasure.
The group’s first-quarter 2021 revenue contracted 68.1 percent year-on-year, to just under MYR623.4 million, from almost MYR1.96 billion in the first three months of 2020.
Most of the revenue, i.e., MYR618.9 million, was from the “leisure and hospitality” segment, including gaming.
The segment comprised three main market headings: Malaysia, where the group runs the Resorts World Genting casino resort; the United Kingdom and Egypt, where the firm also has casino business; and the United States and the Bahamas, where Genting Malaysia also has casino resort interests.
The Malaysia market generated MYR322.4 million from leisure and hospitality; the UK and Egypt MYR40.2 million; and the U.S. and the Bahamas, MYR256.3 million.
The group’s gaming revenue within the segment was MYR490.2 million, and the non-gaming within the segment was MYR110.8 million. The rest within the segment was from property, investments and “other” activities.
During the first quarter, Genting Malaysia moved to negative adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), amounting to MYR110.4 million, versus positive fourth-quarter 2020 EBITDA of MYR170.4 million. The company had reported adjusted EBITDA of MYR355.4 million for the first three months of 2020.
As of March 31, Genting Malaysia had total borrowings – denominated in a mixture of U.S. dollars, British pounds and Malaysian ringgit – equal to MYR10.17 billion, which was 8.3 percent up on the MYR9.39 billion borrowings it had at the end of the fourth quarter.
The firm said in a press release filed with Bursa Malaysia accompanying its Tuesday announcement of first quarter earnings: “The leisure and hospitality business in Malaysia recorded a 76 percent decline in revenue to MYR299.0 million and adjusted loss before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation of MYR83.6 million.”
The firm added: “This was predominantly due to the suspension of the group’s resort operations from 22 January 2021 until mid-February 2021 in compliance with the government’s implementation of a second movement control order, and the subsequent reopening of the properties with reduced capacity.”
The company stated however that U.S. operations – where it runs Resorts World Casino New York City, and via an associate business, Resorts World Catskills in upstate New York – “continue” on a “recovery trajectory”.
Samuel Yin Shao Yang, an analyst at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, said in a Wednesday note on Genting Malaysia’s first quarter, that the institution forecast the casino firm’s 2021 EBITDA could rebound 323 percent year-on-year, “as the Covid-19 impact on Genting Malaysia’s casinos moderates”.
The analyst added “we do not expect” casino operations at Resorts World Genting “to remain closed for long”.
The insitution also noted that Genting Malaysia’s U.K. casinos had reopened on May 17 after pandemic-related shuttering.
Resorts World Casino New York City, and 49-percent owned Resorts World Catskills “were allowed to operate at higher capacity from April,” observed the bank.
(Updated Weds May 26, 12.40pm)
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