International casino group Genting Malaysia Bhd, operator of Malaysia’s only casino resort, announced on Thursday a second-quarter loss of MYR900.4 million (US$215.8 million), but it still flagged an interim dividend. The group’s large second-quarter loss was versus a profit of nearly MYR416.5 million in the prior-year period.
The same day, the country’s defence minister was quoted by Malaysian media as saying the nation’s borders might not reopen to outsiders, even when current travel restrictions expire on Monday (August 31). Malaysia’s tourism minister said on August 26 that the country might keep its borders closed to international tourists until the second quarter of next year.
As Genting Malaysia issued its results on Thursday, it also said Lim Kok Thay, its long-standing chairman and current patriarch of the founding dynasty of the Genting group, was being redesignated as deputy chairman. A separate filing said that Alwi Jantan, who was until now the group’s deputy chairman, would now serve as chairman.
The firm didn’t give a reason for the change when it made the filing to Bursa Malaysia. Mr Lim was recently reported to have pledged his personal stake in an associated firm, casino cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd, as it negotiates with creditors amid a near-standstill in cruise ship business globally.
Genting Malaysia nonetheless declared an interim, single-tier dividend of MYR0.06 per ordinary share, payable on September 29, to shareholders registered as of September 10.
The firm, which runs Malaysia’s only casino resort, Resorts World Genting, also operates casinos in the United Kingdom and Egypt, and in the United States and the Bahamas.
The company said in commentary that the quarter had seen lower “leisure and hospitality” revenue – which includes gaming and hotel operations – “as a result of the temporary closure of the group’s resort operations worldwide since mid-March 2020 in compliance with the respective governments’ directives amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
It added: “Several properties have resumed operations with limited capacity since mid-June 2020.”
Second-quarter revenue at Genting Malaysia was down 95.6 percent year-on-year, at MYR114.9 million, versus MYR2.60 billion in the prior-year quarter.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were negative by MYR486.2 million, compared to positive adjusted EBITDA of MYR711.5 million in the same period of 2019.
Revenue for the leisure and hospitality segment by market, showed that in the Malaysia resort operations – mostly from the Genting Highlands casino complex – performance was down by 95.3 percent, to MYR82.2 million, compared to nearly MYR1.76 billion in the second quarter 2019.
In the UK and Egypt, leisure and hospitality revenue was down 92.1 percent, to MYR33.2 million, from MYR420.1 million. In the U.S. and the Bahamas, such revenue was negative by MYR31.6 million, versus a positive number of MYR378.1 million a year earlier.
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