Macau VIP gaming room investor Iao Kun Group Holding Co Ltd on Thursday reported revenue of US$41.7 million for the three months ended March 31, a 48 percent decrease from the prior-year period.
The firm said the decline was primarily due to lower rolling chip turnover during the quarter, as a result of a win rate of 4.19 percent for the period compared to a win rate of 3.60 percent in the equivalent quarter a year ago.
Iao Kun’s rolling chip turnover for the first quarter of 2015 was US$2.2 billion, down 54 percent in year-on-year terms. Rolling chip turnover is a measure used by casinos to judge the aggregate amount of player bets and overall volume of VIP gaming room business.
“The decrease in revenue was also due to a decreasing trend of VIP baccarat, consistent with the overall decline of gaming revenue in Macau; and the economic downturn and the ongoing anti-corruption campaign in mainland China…” Iao Kun said.
Market wide in Macau, gross gaming revenue from VIP baccarat fell 42.1 percent in the first quarter, to MOP37.67 billion (US$4.72 billion) from MOP65.06 billion in the year earlier period, according to government data.
Iao Kun on Thursday adjusted its guidance for aggregate 2015 rolling chip turnover to between US$7.0 billion and US$8.5 billion, from a previous range of US$8.5 billion and US$10.0 billion.
The firm is a mid-sized investor in Macau’s government-licensed VIP gaming promoters; commonly known as ‘junket operators’. The company promotes five VIP rooms in Macau, including rooms at Galaxy Macau, City of Dreams Macau and Sands Cotai Central.
Nasdaq-listed Iao Kun posted net income of US$17.1 million, or US$0.28 per share (basic and diluted), for the first quarter of 2015, compared to net income of US$3.2 million, or US$0.05 per share, for the same period of 2014.
The company in April reported a full year 2014 loss, largely on a change in fair value on three high roller rooms acquired during the period
On Thursday, the company said the increase in net income in the first quarter of 2015 was mainly due to a net decrease in the contingent consideration liability for Bao Li Gaming and the Oriental VIP Room.
The firm said it also incurred lower selling, general and administrative expenses in comparison to the costs incurred in 2014 in connection with its application to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
In February 2015, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it was unable to proceed with a review of the company’s application to list its shares in Hong Kong by way of introduction. Iao Kun said it does not anticipate additional listing costs.
“Given the ongoing macro environment in Macau, we expect the overall VIP market will continue to be affected in the near-term, and as such we will continue to prudently manage our capital,” Iao Kun chairman Lam Man Pou said in Thursday’s filing.
The company on May 15 said it had completed a deal allowing it to expand its casino junket operations to Crown Perth Casino and to Crown Melbourne Casino, in Australia.
Mr Lam said the company has “been actively exploring” alternatives to diversify its sources of revenue, and that the deal with Crown Resorts Ltd provides the needed diversification.
“This is our first step in expanding overseas and we remain committed to finding additional opportunities to further expand our presence and ultimately generating long-term value for our shareholders,” said Iao Kun’s chairman.
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Vitaly Umansky, Louis Li and Shirley Yang
Analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein