Emperor Entertainment Hotel Ltd, the operator of the casino property Grand Emperor Hotel (pictured) in Macau, said group profit rose 12.8 percent year-on-year in the six months to September 30, on revenue that actually fell 10.5 percent in the period.
Group gaming revenue at the property – a so-called satellite venue which operates under SJM Holdings Ltd’s gaming licence – fell 10.8 percent during the fiscal half, to HKD586.6 million (US$75.1 million), compared to HKD657.6 million in the prior-year period.
Emperor Entertainment declared an interim dividend of HKD0.026, compared to HKD0.025 per share in the prior-year period.
Group profit in the latest reporting period was HKD118.6 million, compared to HKD105.1 million a year earlier, despite group revenue slipping to HKD702.1 million, compared to the HKD784.5 million recorded in the equivalent half of fiscal 2016.
“With incremental capacity added on Cotai, the group was inevitably affected and revenue declined,” the company said in its Wednesday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, referring to two large new casino resorts that opened in the Cotai district of Macau in August and September respectively last year.
But the firm added that the improvement in its interim profit was “mainly due to a decrease in selling and marketing expenses, as well as an exchange gain and a revaluation gain recognised during the period, as compared to an exchange loss and a revaluation loss in the same period last year.”
On the casino hotel’s mass-market gaming floor the number of live-dealer tables remained the same year-on-year, at 67, but mass gaming revenue fell 13.5 percent year-on-year, to HKD350.6 million – equal to 49.9 percent of group revenue – compared to HKD405.4 million previously.
During the reporting period, the group’s self-managed VIP room had 10 tables – the same number as the prior-year period. But rolling chip turnover fell 21.2 percent to HKD10.4 billion, compared to HKD13.2 billion a year earlier. The half’s VIP revenue was down 6.3 percent, to HKD217.9 million – 31.0 percent of group revenue – from HKD232.6 million a year earlier.
The Grand Emperor Hotel had 31 fewer slot machine seats than the previous reporting period, at 155. Revenue from the slot segment slipped 7.7 percent, to HKD18.1 million – or 2.6 percent of group revenue – from HKD19.6 million a year earlier.
The firm reiterated that during the equivalent 2016 half the firm had become aware of an act of embezzlement of gambling chips by an ex-senior casino cashier at the property, although it said that the loss arising from that – HKD13.0 million – had been charged to the unaudited condensed consolidated statement of profit or loss for full year fiscal 2016.
As well as the gaming and hotel operation at Grand Emperor Hotel, the firm also runs a non-gaming property called the Inn Hotel Macau, in the Taipa district.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters