Philippine casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp reported consolidated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of PHP129.3 million (about US$2.7 million) for the fourth quarter, after two quarters of negative EBITDA. The company said it was a “return to positive territory” from the negative PHP203.7-million in such earnings in the third quarter, according to a Monday filing.
Bloomberry’s group-wide revenue for the three months to December 31 contracted by 61 percent year-on-year, to just above PHP4.2 billion, but it improved 31.3 percent from the PHP3.2 billion recorded in the previous three months.
Nonetheless, the company posted a net loss of PHP2.5 billion for the fourth quarter, flat from the previous quarter. The quarterly result compared to a net profit of PHP1.4 billion in the final quarter of 2019.
Bloomberry runs the Solaire Resort and Casino (pictured) at Entertainment City, Manila, in the Philippine capital. It is also developing another resort – known as Solaire North – at Quezon City on the outskirts of the Metro Manila area. The firm also has an operation in South Korea, which remains suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aggregate gross gaming revenue (GGR) at Solaire was PHP5.3 billion in the three months to December 31, down 63 percent from the prior-year period. It was still a 22-percent improvement from PHP4.4 billion in the third quarter, “as domestic-patron confidence improved and quarantine restrictions were mildly eased in October,” said the casino firm.
Fourth-quarter combined GGR from mass tables and electronic gaming machines grew by 75 percent sequentially. But VIP GGR for the quarter was PHP1.2 billion, down 41 percent from third-quarter 2020, “due to international travel restrictions enforced throughout the period”.
“I am encouraged by our performance in the final quarter of 2020, particularly as we saw domestic mass gaming revenues increase by 75 percent compared to the previous quarter and EBITDA hitting positive territory,” said Enrique Razon, Bloomberry’s chairman and chief executive, as quoted in the earnings release.
Recovery ‘under way’
Mr Razon added: “Our recovery is well under way. We look forward to a more meaningful improvement in 2021 should we see further easing of domestic quarantine restrictions and the eventual resumption of travel and tourism across our key markets.”
The firm’s Solaire property “continued to operate at capacities consistent with a limited dry-run as allowed by relevant [national] authorities,” said Bloomberry. The “limited dry-run” since June 15 “involves only long-stay hotel guests and select invitees. Solaire remains closed to the public,” it added.
Metro Manila, home to the Entertainment City zone of large-scale private-sector Philippine casino resorts, is to stay under so-called general community quarantine (GCQ) for the whole of March as a countermeasure to the spread of Covid-19, said in late February the national authorities in the Philippines.
Bloomberry stated the group’s full-year 2020 results “were severely impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.”
Consolidated net revenue in 2020 was PHP17.8 billion, representing a decline of 62 percent from PHP46.6 billion in 2019. Aggregate GGR for the period at Solaire was PHP22.6 billion, 62-percent lower than the PHP59.8 billion recorded in 2019.
Consolidated EBITDA stood at PHP1.4 billion, down 93 percent from PHP19.8 billion in the previous year. Bloomberry reported an annual net loss of PHP8.3 billion, compared to a net profit of PHP9.9 billion in 2019.
In December, it was announced that two units of Bloomberry had negotiated with banks an additional loan facility amounting to PHP20 billion, to add to PHP73.5 billion the group had arranged previously.
Bloomberry said in supporting materials filed with its results that it had “no outstanding dividends payable as of December 31, 2020″.
On March 6 last year, the parent approved a cash dividend of PHP0.25 per share, aggregating to PHP2.7 billion, which was paid on March 31 that year.