• Bloomberry rebounds to P4-B 2014 profit

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    BLOOMBERRY Resorts Corp., the operator of Solaire Resorts & Casino, swung to a profit of P4.07 billion last year on the back of strong gaming revenues after incurring a net loss of P1.31billion in 2013.

    In a statement, the company said its revenues nearly doubled to P24.03 billion in 2014 from P12.29 billion in 2013. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also improved nearly tenfold to P10.08 billion from the previous year’s P1.11 billion.

    Total revenue was fueled by gaming revenues which contributed 95 percent, while hotel, food and beverage accounted for a 4 percent share while the remainder came from retail, interest income and others.

    The company said the turnaround is attributable to Solaire’s full realization of profits compared to losses in 2013 when the integrated resorts complex opened. Solaire recorded P1.55 billion retained earnings in 2014 compared to a P2.48-billion deficit in the previous year.

    “We are elated by the 2014 yearend results. Our initiatives to grow our market, to increase revenues and to curb operational excesses have enabled us to make a remarkable turnaround in just two years. Now, we will focus on even surpassing that,” said Enrique Razon Jr., Bloomberry chairman and chief executive officer.

    The firm’s gross gaming revenues and non-gaming revenues last year hit all-time highs of P30.38 billion and P1.07 billion, respectively, representing growth rates of 103 percent and 39 percent.

    Net gaming revenues—after deducting P7.53 billion promotional expenses, discounts and others—also grew 99 percent to P22.84 billion from P11.46 billion in 2013.

    Actual capital spending in 2014 reached P14.02 billion with the completion of the Sky Tower expansion in November last year. With Sky Tower’s opening, Bloomberry surpassed the $1-billion minimum investment requirement under its provisional gaming license.

    Bloomberry’s earnings per share (EPS) was at P0.382 for the year, reversing the previous year’s net loss per share of P0.124.

    Just recently, Bloomberry, via its unit Solaire Korea Co. Ltd., bought Silmi Island in South Korea to complement its acquisition of Muui Island in January. Both islands are within the Incheon Economic Freeport Zone where the company will build its second resort and entertainment complex.

    Other than the two islands, the Razon-led company also acquired a 92-percent stake in South Korean gaming firm Golden & Luxury Company Limited (G&L), which operates T.H.E Hotel & Vegas Casino, one of the seven casinos on Jeju Island. Bloomberry will use G&L as an anchor in setting up its base in Korea.

    “We are excited at the prospect of Solaire setting up a base in Korea and of introducing the Solaire brand of integrated resorts of the country. This is our first venture outside of the Philippines and the possibilities for expansion in this country are promising,” Razon earlier said.

    The company is looking to capitalize on the flow of Korean, Chinese and Japanese gamers on Jeju Island, noting that the island attracted 2.3 million foreign tourists last year, of whom 1.8 million were from China.

    Bloomberry said the prospects for Jeju are good as its Chinese visitors are expected to grow to 5.3 million this year.

    Formerly Active Alliance Inc., Bloomberry was incorporated in 1999 and is engaged in the development and operation of integrated resort, casino, entertainment and tourism complex Solaire Resort & Casino. It is owned and led by ports magnate Enrique Razon, who also owns International Container Terminal Services Inc.

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