Neptune Group Ltd’s underlying profit attribute to shareholders fell 25.4 percent for the six months ended December 31. Such profit was approximately HKD130.9 million (US$16.9 million) compared to HKD175.5 million in the same period in 2013.
Underlying earnings per share for the half-year period were HKD0.0284, a decline from the corresponding period last year when they were HKD0.0380 per share.
The firm described itself in a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Friday as an investment holding company associated with Macau VIP gambling rooms. The Macau VIP gambling market has suffered a general decline in play volumes since last year, weighed down by an anti corruption campaign in mainland China and tightening credit conditions in the Chinese economy.
Neptune said on Friday that turnover for the interim period fell 19.2 percent year on year to HKD283.91 million, compared to HKD351.26 million in the year-prior period, which the firm said was “largely due to significant drop in average daily revenues in all of our VIP rooms reflecting fierce market competition and weak run rate.”
Neptune warned in its results on Friday that if weak trading conditions continued in the VIP segment, it expected “a flurry of merger and amalgamation” in the sector.
“Visa restriction has tightened, the anti corruption crackdown in China has slowed down the movement of mainlanders high rollers to Macau dramatically,” added the firm.
But the company pointed out that a major item of its cash outflow for the period was dividend to non-controlling shareholders under a profit sharing stream, and amounting to HKD260.0 million.
Some Macau VIP rooms associated with Neptune Group in investment analyst reports, are actually branded as Guangdong Group venues. Guangdong Group is not mentioned by name in Friday’s filing by Neptune.
A report in January from Daiwa Securities Group Inc described Guangdong Group as the second biggest Macau junket operator by rolling chip volume, adding it controlled 228 tables at the time of Daiwa’s research. Daiwa said Guangdong Group had 203 tables in 10 major casinos, and a further 25 in satellite venues of SJM Holdings.
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"The [Macau] government has a lead in this subject in regards to what should be done after the [gaming] concessions expire. We will be first listening to what the government will say”
Ambrose So Shu Fai
Vice-chairman and chief executive at Macau casino operator SJM Holdings