Philippines casino developer and operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc reported a 1.6 percent increase year-on-year in net profit for the first quarter.
Gross gaming revenue for the firm fell by almost 6 percent, but the company said it also had lower costs in the period, including a near 40-percent drop in spending on marketing and promotions.
Travellers International – which developed and operates the Resorts World Manila casino and hotel complex (pictured) next to Manila International Airport and is building a second, US$1.1-billion property called Resorts World Bayshore at Manila Bay – said group net profit increased to approximately PHP1.74 billion (US$39.2 million), from approximately PHP1.72 billion in the year-prior period.
Earnings per share – basic and diluted – were stable at PHP0.11 per unit.
The company said that gross gaming revenues decreased 5.7 percent to approximately P6.80 billion for the three months ended March 31 down from approximately PHP7.21 billion in the same period of 2014.
Travellers International’s direct costs posted a 2.9 percent decline to approximately PHP2.19 billion from PHP2.25 billion in the prior-year period.
The firm said the change was “primarily due to lower gaming taxes and licences attributable to lower gaming revenue”.
It added: “Direct costs related to gaming have [also] gone down as part of cost management initiatives.”
Travellers International said its general and administrative expenses in the three months to March 31, fell 11.8 percent to approximately PHP2.7 billion, from PHP3.06 billion in the year-prior period.
Spending on marketing and promotions decreased 39.8 percent to PHP993.2 million in the period, from approximately PHP1.65 billion in the year-prior period “due to a decline in rebates”, the firm added.
Operating profit for the first three months of 2015 was approximately PHP2.08 billion, a 5.9 percent decline compared to the approximately PHP2.22 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2014. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell 7.8 percent to approximately PHP2.41 billion, from the PHP2.61 billion posted in the same period in 2014.
Travellers International didn’t give a breakdown of VIP gaming revenue versus mass market gaming revenue for the first quarter. Nor did it give a number for VIP rolling chip volume for the period.
But it said in a commentary on its first quarter gaming results: “The company remains cautious in the VIP segment. Visitation remains strong at 20,229 average daily property visits. However, the mass segment volume was affected by the road and air traffic because of the Skyway construction, the Pope’s visit and the long weekend leading to the Holy Week.”
The first reference was to a section of the Metro Manila Skyway elevated road that passes close to Resorts World Manila. The second reference was to a visit to Manila in January by Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic church, and the third to a period from March 29 to April 4 preceding Easter Sunday, a major religious festival in the majority Roman Catholic nation.
In January local media had reported that although the city’s casinos – including Resorts World Manila – had been scheduled to remain open during the Pope’s visit, customer attendance had been expected to be affected by re-routing of road transport in a city already known for its traffic jams.
Travellers International added in its first quarter results that average table count at Resorts World Manila increased to 295 for the period, from 287 in the same period in 2014. The average number of slot machines decreased to 1,851 from 1,853, while the electronic table game count remained the same at 210.
Travellers International is a venture between Philippines conglomerate Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd, a unit of Malaysia’s Genting Group.
Alliance Global said in a filing in April that Resorts World Manila is to open a new ballroom and convention centre in July.
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