Neptune Group Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed investor in the Macau VIP gambling sector, recorded a net profit of HKD25.9 million (US$3.3 million) for the six months ended December 31, 2016. That compares to a net loss of HKD257.0 million in the prior-year period.
The company’s results in the prior-year period included an impairment loss of HKD277.3 million, the firm said in a filing on Friday.
Neptune reported revenue of HKD135.9 million for its fiscal first half, up 2.2 percent year-on-year. Revenue from commissions on rolling chip turnover in the VIP rooms promoted by Neptune’s associates reached nearly HKD136 million for the six months ended December 31, compared to HKD133 million a year earlier.
The junket investor said it made “extra efforts” in 2016 to collect trade receivables “that have been long overdue”. “The result has been a very positive one, in particular to debts over 365 days,” said Neptune. The firm said its outstanding debt declined from HKD654 million in 2015 to HKD363 million in 2016.
“Our group’s cash flow has accordingly recorded significant increment after successful collection of the receivables,” it added.
In Friday’s filing, Neptune said that the Macau market has seen “signs of improving customer patronage and gaming turnover” in the second half of 2016.
Market wide gross gaming revenue from VIP baccarat – the city’s main gauge for the VIP gaming segment – expanded by 12.6 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to official data.
“Looking forward to 2017, we are optimistic with the underlying results given the improving signs of the gaming sector and the improvement of trade receivables,” Neptune added.
The firm did not recommend the payment of an interim dividend for its fiscal first half.
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"VIP growth [in Macau] is roaring back on the heels of last year’s economic stimulus – but we think this could stall once the effect of the stimulus and the Chinese housing bubble wears off – as it did in 2013-14"
Cameron McKnight and Robert Shore
Analysts at Wells Fargo Securities