First-half profit at global casino investor Melco International Development Ltd rose 109.4 percent, the firm said in a Monday filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
Such profit was approximately HKD344.6 million (US$43.9 million) compared to nearly HKD164.6 million in the prior-year period.
The firm said factors in the improvement included “better group-wide performance in all gaming segments and recovery of previously provided doubtful debt”.
An interim dividend of HKD0.045 per share was declared for the six months to June 30.
Melco International is the parent of Macau and Philippines casino operator Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd, which saw the launch of its US$1.1-billion Morpheus hotel tower at City of Dreams Macau in the first half. Melco International also runs in its own right a temporary casino recently opened in the Republic of Cyprus, prior to the launch of a major new venue and some satellite facilities there under a monopoly licence. The Melco brand is also a suitor for a Japan casino licence after legalisation of such business by that country’s lawmakers earlier this summer.
The aggregate of Melco International’s trade receivables – typically associated with provision of credit for VIP gambling – for the six months to June 30 actually rose to HKD1.74 billion, from HKD1.58 billion as of December 31, 2017. But provision for impairment on such receivables slimmed to about HKD244.2 million at the end of June, from nearly HKD304.8 million in December 2017.
Net revenues for the first half of 2018 were HKD19.8 billion, which represented a HKD0.3-billion or 1.6-percent decrease compared to HKD20.1 billion for the first six months a year earlier.
The firm said in commentary, referring to revised accounting standards applied to its balance sheet: “While the group experienced better performance in all gaming segments, this was more than offset by higher commissions, which are being reported as a reduction of revenue as a result of the group’s adoption of [the] new revenue standard from 1 January 2018.”
Melco International’s group earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were HKD5.55 billion, representing an increase of HKD0.8 billion or 16.7 percent, compared to HKD4.76 billion for the first six months last year.
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, chairman of Melco International, said in a press release issued on the first half numbers: “Internationally, we remain bullish on our exposure to an expanding network of global operations and business development opportunities beyond Macau. In Cyprus, we have opened Cyprus Casinos (C2) earlier in June and we are also excited with the development of our integrated resort City of Dreams Mediterranean which is going to be the first in the country upon its completion in 2021.”
He added: “Japan remains a pivotal focus of the group’s long-term plan. We view Japan as a market with the potential to rank among the largest global gaming destinations in Asia, second only to Macau. With the successful passage of the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill at Japan’s National Diet, our goal is to become a trusted partner in Japan’s integrated casino resorts industry and we have been dedicating the necessary resources and investments for the development of this potential market. We are confident that these projects will further enhance our exposure in the global market.”
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