Philippines' Bloomberry Q1 profit helped by VIP revenue
Casino operator sees healthy growth ahead
CLIFF VENZON, Nikkei staff writer
MANILA -- Philippine casino company Bloomberry Resorts earned 2.15 billion pesos ($43.32 million) in net profit in the first quarter, reversing from a loss of 1.16 billion pesos a year ago as high-roller visits hit a record.
Revenues from its VIP or luxury operations surged by 60.4% to 5.13 billion pesos. Revenues from mass tables and slot machines grew 27.1% and 22.4% to 2.77 billion pesos and 2.75 billion pesos, respectively. This brought gross gaming revenues to 10.66 billion pesos, up by 39.7%, for the company that runs Solaire casino in Manila.
The profit statement did not identify the nationality of the biggest gamblers in the luxury segment, but Chairman Enrique Razon last month said visitors from mainland China surged after President Rodrigo Duterte's state visit to Beijing in October.
Last year, the Philippine leader set aside longstanding maritime disputes with China and pleased Chinese political leaders and citizens when he announced his "separation" from traditional ally, the U.S. Duterte is in Beijing again for the Belt and Road Forum on May 14 and 15.
Bloomberry's non-gaming revenues also grew 41% to 786 million pesos, as its hotel operation and its sales of food and beverage improved. The company also reported that expenses fell by 2% to 6.45 billion pesos, as it continued to rein in costs.
Meanwhile, Bloomberry's casino on South Korea's Jeju Island turned a 324 million pesos profit for the first time in the first quarter, mainly due to foreign exchange gains.
Razon said Monday he expected the momentum of the first quarter to continue, even as the opening of the $2.4 billion Okada Manila casino near Solaire and City of Dreams Manila is expected to intensify competition.
"We are convinced that this trend will go on for the rest of the year," he said. "Our programs on fund management, cost containment and customer engagement across the entire organization are reverting to us with winning points."