Bloomberry swings to P2.2-B profit

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Bloomberry Resorts Corp., owner and operator of the Solaire Resort & Casino and Jeju Sun Hotel & Casino, swung to a P2.2-billion in profit for the first quarter, citing record VIP visits and “all-time high revenues.”

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The Razon-led firm reported a “substantial P3.309-billion swing” from the P1.156-billion loss in the same period last year, with first-quarter net income nearly tripling the P732 million in profits recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Earnings before interest, taxes, amortization and depreciation, a measure of cash flow, reached P3.157 billion, 161 percent higher than the P1.21 billion generated in the same period last year, and 17 percent higher than the previous quarter’s P2.697 billion. It would have been higher if not for the change in the industry tax regime in the first half of 2016, Bloomberry said.

The company’s Korean operations, Jeju Sun, reported its first-ever profitable quarter, with P324 million in earnings from foreign exchange gains.

“We are very pleased that the turnaround and headway we experienced in 2016 continued to be felt in the first quarter of the year. We are convinced that this trend will go on for the rest of the year. Our programs on fund management, cost containment and customer engagement across the entire organization are reverting to us with winning points,” Bloomberry chairman and chief executive officer Enrique Razon Jr. said in a statement.

Bloomberry said Solaire’s VIP volume grew 35 percent year-on-year to post a new all-time high, with VIP gross gaming revenues up 60 percent year-on-year to its second-highest level since the second quarter of 2016.

“Mass table drop and EGM (electronic gaming machines) coin-in generated strong year-on-year growth rates of 24 percent and 26 percent, respectively, to also hit new record quarterly highs. Even on a sequential basis, Solaire’s mass gaming segment continued to post positive growth with mass table drop and EGM coin-in growing four percent and eight percent, respectively, from the previous quarter,” Bloomberry said.

Overall, gross gaming revenues rose by 40 percent year-on-year to P10.716 billion.

Non-gaming revenues grew 41 percent to P786 million, with ticket sales of the musical “Wicked” as “one of the strong drivers.”

The firm’s hotel occupancy rate improved to 92.6 percent from 88.9 percent in the previous quarter and 84.9 percent in the first quarter of 2016.

Total expenses fell 2 percent year-on-year and 15 percent quarter-on-quarter to P6.446 billion “mainly due to substantial reversals in its Korean operations owing to foreign exchange gains generated during the quarter.”
Bloomberry reported earnings per share (EPS) of P0.195, more than double the P0.068 reported at the end of 2016.

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