Aug 24, 2022 Newsdesk Latest News, Rest of Asia, Top of the deck
Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd, a Hong Kong-listed investor in the Tigre de Cristal casino resort (pictured in a file photo), near the Russian Pacific port of Vladivostok, returned to profit in the first half this year, on revenue that rose 37.4 percent year-on-year.
The improvement – flagged last week in a filing to the Hong Kong bourse – was “predominantly attributable to a strong domestic market in the Russian Federation,” said the firm in a Tuesday filing.
The group reported a profit attributable to the owners of just under HKD85.2 million (US$10.9 million), versus a loss of HKD131,000 in the prior-year period.
Summit Ascent is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed LET Group Holdings Ltd, formerly Suncity Group Holdings Ltd.
First-half adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of Tigre de Cristal rose 249.2 percent, to just under HKD60.0 million.
Summit Ascent’s interim revenue from gaming operations rose 36.6 percent year-on-year, to just over HKD167.6 million.
The firm said in commentary that Tigre de Cristal’s VIP rolling chip gambling business had “primarily” targeted “non-Russian visitors”, and had contributed 54.2 percent of the group’s total gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2019, “but dropped to 20.9 percent and 0 percent in 2020 and 2021 respectively since the Covid-19 outbreak”.
Summit Ascent recorded zero revenue from rolling chip business in the first half this year. “Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the unfavourable factors have probably changed from short-term to become long-term impact on the group,” it added, regarding the VIP trade.
But the interim numbers showed mass-market table revenue rose 55.1 percent year-on-year, to HKD84.6 million, while electronic gaming revenue went up 21.8 percent, to HKD83.0 million.
Summit Ascent’s hotel revenue for the first six months of 2022 went up 52.5 percent, to just under HKD10.3 million.
No dividend was paid or proposed for ordinary shareholders for the six-month period to June 30.
The firm also noted: “While proceeding with the development of Tigre de Cristal Phase II is not an immediate priority of the group, we are targeting an opening no earlier than 2025 as disclosed in the 2021 annual report.”
Summit Ascent further stated that although Tigre de Cristal had been “self-sustaining without any bank borrowings, the Western sanctions resulting from the Russia-Ukraine conflict may cause significant long-term damage to the Russian economy and its tourism industry.”
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