Emperor Entertainment Hotel Ltd, operator of the Macau casino property Grand Emperor Hotel (pictured), suffered a HKD12.9-million (US$1.7-million) loss in the 12 months to March 31, due to a senior cashier embezzling chips. The now ex-employee was subsequently jailed, the firm said in a filing.
Notwithstanding that incident, annual profit at Emperor Entertainment rose 35.2 percent for the financial year. Such profit was HKD346.5 million, compared to HKD256.2 million in the prior-year period.
Basic earnings per share were also up 35 percent, at HKD0.27, from HKD0.20 in the previous 12 months. Total dividends per share were up 2.5 percent, to HKD0.082, from HKD0.080.
The group said the increase in profit was primarily due to “reduction in exchange loss on renminbi deposits and reduction in the loss on fair value changes of investment properties”.
The information was contained in a results filing on Wednesday to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
The filing gave no detail on whether the loss associated with the cashier incident was as a result of the misappropriated chips being cashed. The Grand Emperor’s casino operates under the gaming licence of SJM Holdings Ltd.
Emperor Entertainment Hotel said in its Wednesday filing of its annual results: “The group was aware that an ex-senior casino cashier of a subsidiary of the company in Macau had embezzled some of the chips on hand of the group. The matter was reported to the inspectorate of the Macau Judiciary Police and the ex-senior casino cashier was arrested for criminal investigation.”
The firm added: “Up to the approval date of these consolidated financial statements, the court judgement was obtained and the person has pleaded guilty and is now in prison.”
The company said the HKD12.9-million loss was “net of HKD100,000 returned by the ex-senior casino cashier”.
The firm’s balance of chips on hand was also adjusted downward to reflect such loss for the year, the firm said.
During the fiscal year, the group’s total revenue declined by approximately 6.3 percent to HKD1.61 billion. Revenue from gaming operations fell 6.2 percent year-on-year to HKD1.36 billion, accounting for 84.4 percent of the group’s total revenue. The firm said it managed to achieve a 3.6-percent growth in the VIP gaming segment as it “focused marketing efforts towards high-roller gamblers”.
Grand Emperor has six gaming floors, with 67 mass-market gaming tables, 10 VIP tables and capacity for 170 slot seats. Emperor Entertainment also operates the 287-room Inn Hotel Macau on Taipa Island. That property does not have gaming.
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Daisy Ho Chiu Fung
Chairman of Macau casino operator SJM Holdings