Hong Kong-listed Jimei International Entertainment Group Ltd on Sunday reported a HKD52.8-million (US$6.8-million) net profit for the first half of 2015. That compares with a loss of HKD8.3 million in the prior-year period.
The casino junket investor, which had already issued a positive profit alert, said in a press release that the turnaround was “mainly driven by the profit contributions from the newly developed entertainment and gaming business”. This new segment began operations in February, following a junket arrangement with casino property Crown Perth, located in Western Australia and operated by Crown Resorts Ltd.
In May, Jimei International Entertainment signed a similar deal with NagaCorp Ltd relating to the latter’s NagaWorld casino resort in Cambodia.
“Within the past six months, the group has generated revenue and gross profit amounting to approximately HKD112.4 million and HKD60.6 million respectively from the entertainment and gaming business,” the firm stated on Sunday.
The company did not recommend any interim dividend.
Under the junket arrangement with Crown Perth, Jimei International Entertainment “has assisted to promote approximately eight to 10 gaming tables at the Crown Perth Casino”.
The junket arrangement with NagaWorld allows the firm “to promote not less than seven gaming tables” at the property, according to Jimei International Entertainment.
“We are committed to further expanding into the fast-growing entertainment and gaming markets, particularly in Asia, in order to bring new momentum and income sources to the group,” Jimei International Entertainment chairman Jack Lam Yin Lok (pictured) said in a statement included in a press release on Sunday.
He added: “With the accomplishments during the first half of 2015, we have full confidence to further strengthen our foothold in the entertainment and gaming industry.”
Mr Lam is one of Macau’s most experienced casino junket executives. According to local media reports, he founded Jimei Group, a longstanding participant in the Macau VIP gaming promotion sector. Jimei Group runs junket operations at eight Macau casino hotels, according to the Jimei Group website. Jimei Group has no known direct business relationship with Jimei International Entertainment.
Following a share subscription completed in September 2014, Mr Lam and parties associated with him assumed control of Jimei International Entertainment’s capital. At the time the entity was a Hong Kong-listed firm called Sinogreen Energy International Group Ltd. The latter had previously been involved in trading silicone rubber keypads, a segment that generated no revenue during the first half of 2015.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau