NagaCorp posts US$102mln profit in 2020 despite pandemic

NagaCorp posts US$102mln profit in 2020 despite pandemic

Hong Kong-listed casino operator and developer NagaCorp Ltd reported on Monday net profit of just above US$102.3 million for full-year 2020, supported by a “satisfactory” recovery in the second half of the year. Such profit was down 80.4 percent compared with nearly US$521.3 million in 2019.

The 2020 result was on revenue that fell by 50.0 percent year-on-year, to about US$878.7 million, said the company in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The firm declared a final dividend of US$0.188 a share, to be paid on July 5. The company said the dividend equalled “a 100-percent payout of the net profits generated for the second half of 2020.”

The company runs the NagaWorld casino resort (pictured in a file photo) in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh. It has an exclusive licence to operate casinos in Phnom Penh and its surroundings.

The Hong Kong-listed group has also proposed developing a US$350-million non-gaming resort near Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

All casinos in Cambodia were ordered to shut down temporarily from April 1, as part of measures to prevent the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

NagaCorp had been permitted to reopen its VIP gambling tables and slot machines operation on July 8. The firm announced on July 19 it had also been allowed to reopen its mass-market gaming tables.

In Monday’s filing, NagaCorp said that since the reopening of the casino in July, the business had recorded an initial recovery rate – compared to the pre-closure period of first-quarter 2020 – of about 95 percent for the mass-market segment, and about 69 percent for the VIP segment.

“The satisfactory recovery of the gaming business volumes and revenues was largely” due to “a reasonably-sized expatriate community and to some extent, visitors from East Asia – mainly from China, South Korea and Taiwan,” stated the company.

Thanks to resumption of gaming operations, group-wide earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the second half of 2020 increased sequentially by about 99 percent, said NagaCorp. The group generated EBITDA of US$265.2 million in full-year 2020, down 60.5 percent from the previous year.

The company said its NagaWorld casino complex recorded gross gaming revenue (GGR) of just above US$869.6 million in 2020. It represented a decrease of 49.4 percent compared with 2019, it said.

NagaCorp stated its mass-market table buy-ins fell by 40.8 percent to US$973.5 million in 2020, while the bills-in tally for its electronic gaming machines declined by 48.1 percent to almost US$1.43 billion.

In the VIP table games segment, the group’s rolling chip turnover was halved, to about US$22.6 billion.

NagaCorp announced last week that it was “voluntarily” suspending its operations at NagaWorld, after 11 employees tested positive for Covid-19. The firm is yet to announce a date for reopening.

Moody’s Investors Service Inc said in a recent note that the temporary suspension of business at NagaWorld was a “credit negative” for NagaCorp.

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