MANILA, Philippines – Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, the country’s largest casino operator, earned a P2.3-billion ($52.45 million*) net income for the first half of 2014, from a net loss of P1.03 billion ($23.48 million) posted in the same period last year.
Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort & Casino reported first half gross revenues of P14.16 billion ($322.89 million) – more than triple of the P4.47 billion ($101.93 billion) it earned in the first 6 months last year.
For the second quarter alone, net income soared more than 37 times to P847 million ($19.35 million) versus P23 million ($525,473.66) in the second quarter of 2013, while revenues surged 62% to P6.77 billion ($154.67 million) versus P4.18 billion ($95.50 million) reported in the same period last year.
Bloomberry reported a net profit of P1.46 billion ($33.47 million) from January to March, the start of the company’s turnaround after opening Solaire in March 2013.
Gaming continued to be the biggest generator of the company’s total gross revenues in the first half of the year, accounting for 95.5% with the balance being accounted for by hotel, food and beverage, and retail.
Based on its unaudited financial results, net gaming revenues grew 184% year-on-year to P10.83 billion ($246.92 million), while net gaming revenues in the second quarter of 2014 grew by 56% year-on-year to P5.16 billion ($117.78 million).
Bloomberry chief executive officer Enrique K. Razon attributed the corporation’s gains to its “strategic management decisions and focus on goals” which include stripping out promotional allowances.
Bloomberry spent P8.48 billion ($193.45 million) for the first half of the year, 55% higher than the same period last year, but was substantially lower than net revenue growth.
Turning Solaire around
In April, Razon – one of the country’s richest men and the majority-shareholder of Bloomberry – emphasized that Solaire achieved the early turn to profits after firing the casino’s American managers last year.
Bloomberry announced in September that it had terminated the management contract of Las Vegas-based Global Gaming Asset Management for a breach of contract, in a dispute that was referred to international arbitrators in Singapore.
The company also eyes to expand Solaire to become “a true integrated resort driving both local and foreign visitation.”
Bloomberry is adding non-gaming amenities to Solaire, such as a 312 all-suite hotel rooms, as well as a shopping center with 30-40 high-end brand shops, more food and beverage offerings, a 1,700-seating entertainment theater, 3,000 parking spaces, a night club, and more restaurants. There will also be an additional 220 slot machines and 65 VIP gaming tables.
In June, Bloomberry file a 23-page petition for certiorari and prohibition to nullify a tax regulation subjecting the contractees and licensees of state firm Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to income taxation.
In its petition before the High Court, Bloomberry argued that imposing the 30% income tax on profit it derives from contracted operations with PAGCOR is “contrary to law” and is against national interest.
It said the 30% income tax would cripple the local gaming and leisure industries, which are “core components of the country’s tourism blueprint,’ and added that the tax exempt status of companies like Bloomberry in its gaming operations is what attracts investors, enabling the local industry to compete with foreign markets. – Rappler.com
*($1 = P43.88)