NagaCorp Ltd, operator of NagaWorld, a casino resort monopoly in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, reported earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$215.4 million for the first nine months of 2023.
The figure was up 17.4 percent from the prior-year period, said the company in a non-statutory filing on its quarterly results made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday.
The firm has a long-life monopoly casino licence for Phnom Penh, via its NagaWorld resort complex (pictured).
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) from casino operations amounted to US$379.0 million, a 12.1-percent increase from a year ago.
Mass-market table GGR was US$247.2 million in the nine months to September 30, up 1.0 percent from a year earlier. Table game buy-ins and bills-in at slot machines reached US$2.70 billion, 7.8-percent higher from the prior-year period.
“Management believes this is mainly because of the continued increase of international tourist arrivals into Cambodia,” stated Tuesday’s filing.
The rolling volume in the firm’s premium VIP segment was just below US$3.05 billion in the first nine months this year, up 35.2 percent year-on-year. Revenue in the segment reached nearly US$99.6 million, a 39.5 percent increase from a year ago.
The increase in revenue in the VIP segment was likely linked to “the increasing numbers of the domestic expatriate population” in Cambodia, suggested NagaCorp.
The company said that with the “conversion of previous referral VIP players into direct premium VIP players,” average daily rolling volume of the premium VIP market segment in the first nine months of 2023 “has already recovered by 92.8 percent” compared to 2019-levels, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rolling volume in referral VIP was US$1.32 billion, up 43.3 percent a year earlier. The segment’s GGR stood at US$32.2 million for the nine months to September 30, up 46.3 year-on-year.
“This is in line with the continued recovery trend of Cambodia’s tourism sector,” stated NagaCorp. “The company will continue to develop the referral VIP market segment by identifying and recruiting more reputable referral VIP agents.”
In its latest update, NagaCorp said it was on track to repay fully its 2024 senior notes.
“The group’s cash and cash equivalents have increased from US$156.0 million as of 31 December 2022 to US$297.6 million as of 30 September 2023,” it stated.
The firm added: “This increase was mainly attributed to the continued recovery of business volumes and prudent cash spending strategy from the company’s management.”
NagaCorp’s net debt stood at approximately US$174.6 million as of September 30.
The company said it was “confident that it can discharge all of its financial obligations when the outstanding senior notes mature in July 2024.”
In June, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded to ‘B3’ from ‘B2’ the corporate family rating of NagaCorp. “The rating downgrade and negative outlook reflect NagaCorp’s lack of refinancing progress for its US$472 million U.S. dollar bond coming due in July 2024,” said at the time the ratings agency.
Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd stated in July that it expected NagaCorp to be “able to refinance” its US$470-million bond issue maturing in July 2024. “As of the end of the first half of 2023, it [NagaCorp] had US$242 million cash, plus US$86 million half-on-half,” said the brokerage.
NagaCorp reported in mid-July a net profit of US$83.0 million for the first half of 2023, up 57.4 percent from a year ago.
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