Bloomberry Resorts Corp, the operator of Solaire Resort and Casino in the Philippines, said phase 1A of the casino resort would open by the end of November this year.
The expansion is expected to provide an additional 66 VIP gaming tables and 223 slot machines, the company said in a press release on Wednesday. It will also include a 312-room all-suite boutique hotel tower and a 1,760-seat Broadway-style theatre, it added.
Bloomberry, led by industrialist and tycoon Enrique Razon, on Wednesday reported a profit of PHP992 million (US$22 million) for the three months to September 30, up more than sixfold from PHP165 million a year earlier.
Revenue for the period grew by 55.7 percent year-on-year to PHP7.9 billion, the firm said in a statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange. Gross gaming revenue accounted for 95.3 percent of all revenue in the third quarter of 2014.
Stripping out promotion allowances, net gaming revenues in the third quarter grew by 44 percent year-on-year to PHP5.6 billion.
Solaire’s international business has been increasing, boosting VIP operations but also expenses because of commissions paid to junkets. As of September 30, the casino operator had signed-up with 58 junket operators to bring in foreign VIP players, it said.
Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the July-September period amounted to PHP2.4 billion, up from PHP804 million a year earlier and a 3-percent increase quarter-on-quarter.
Bloomberry opened the US$1.2-billion Solaire at Manila Bay on March 16, 2013.
The casino operator posted a profit of PHP3.3 billion for the first nine months of 2014, on gross revenue of PHP22.4 billion, up 127 percent from a year earlier.
“We are extremely pleased with the better-than-expected results as it speaks well of the tremendous efforts we have put in to turn around our operations without cutting down on our quality of service and amenities,” Mr Razon, chairman and chief executive, said in the press release.
Bloomberry’s share price rose about 72 percent for 2014 year to date, “becoming the best performing gaming stock globally”, J.P. Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd said in a report last week.
The J.P. Morgan team said it believed the reasons behind the rally are a strong topline growth, fast EBITDA margin ramp up, and expectation on further improvement for the international VIP market.
Solaire was the first of four scheduled billion-dollar casinos to rise in Entertainment City, a special economic zone being developed into a gaming and entertainment area under the supervision of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor). It is part of the Philippine government’s bid to become a third major gambling centre in Asia alongside Macau and Singapore.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters