Casino developer and operator NagaCorp Ltd reported a net profit of nearly US$107.3 million for full-year 2022, compared to a loss of US$147.0 million in the prior year. Such profit was on revenue that rose by 104.0 percent year-on-year, to US$460.7 million, said the company in a filing on Wednesday.
The group generated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of US$245.4 million for full-year 2022, compared to US$15.6 million in the previous year.
Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp has a long-life monopoly casino licence for the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, where it operates its NagaWorld resort complex (pictured). In 2021, the casino at NagaWorld was shut from early March to September 15.
The firm announced on Wednesday it was proposing a final dividend of US$0.0075 per share by way of scrip shares, “without offering any right to shareholders to elect to receive such dividend in cash in lieu of such allotment”. It said the proposal represented a “dividend payout ratio of approximately 60 percent,” based on the net profit generated for the second half of 2022.
NagaCorp said that a scrip dividend payment would benefit its shareholders while allowing the firm to “conserve cash flow” and improve the “trading liquidity” in its shares.
In July, the company declared an interim dividend of US$0.0073 per share, also by way of scrip shares. The firm did not pay any dividend last year.
NagaCorp’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) grew by 99.5 percent year-on-year, to US$445.9 million. The increase in gaming revenue was mainly supported by the mass-market segment, stated the company.
Revenue from mass-market tables reached US$203.8 million, up 206.7 percent from the prior year. GGR from electronic gaming machines increased by 182.6 percent year-on-year, to US$124.3 million.
As compared to the first half, the average daily table game buy-ins, and bills-in at slot machines “continued to recover in the second half of 2022,” growing by 5.4 percent sequentially, said the firm.
Revenue in its non-mass premium segment grew by 87.8 percent year-on-year, to US$91.4 million in 2022. “Rollings” in the segment more than doubled, to nearly US$2.93 billion. Nonetheless, the premium-market segment recorded a sequential decline of 1.8 percent during the second half of 2022.
Revenue in what the firm calls the “referral VIP” market, stood at US$26.4 million in 2022, down 59.1 percent from the prior year; “rollings” in the segment declined by 50.5 percent, to US$1.24 billion. The decline was “mainly due to the restrictive cross-border travel policies in the Asian region”, as countermeasures against Covid-19.
NagaCorp said average daily volumes in the referral VIP segment reached US$3.9 million in the second half of 2022, up by 31.0 percent from the first six months of the year. That was mainly because the “number of international direct flights to Phnom Penh continued to recover” in the second part of 2022.
The casino firm also said it was focused “on the execution of its development of Naga 3 project,” an expansion to its NagaWorld casino resort. It expected piling works to be completed by the end of this month.
NagaCorp also said in its Wednesday results filing that development of its planned gaming resort in Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East, remained “suspended indefinitely until the circumstance is clearer”. Construction work was stopped in March last year. At the time the stoppage was understood to be linked with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although that was not confirmed by NagaCorp.
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