Casino operator Genting Singapore ended 2015 with profits plunging into the red as it continued its struggles in the VIP segment.
The company’s profit for 2015 fell 70 percent to S$193.1 million ($138 million), which according to Thomson Reuters data, was Genting Singapore’s smallest since 2010, the year when the Resorts World Sentosa first opened.
For the fourth quarter of 2015, the casino operator’s net profit was also down to S$22 million, compared to Q4 2014’s $118.9 million. Genting’s adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) also fell 5 percent to S$181.3 million for the period.
Union Gaming analyst Grant Govertsen believes that Genting Singapore’s current state was due to “VIP bad luck and bad debt.”
“Bad debt continues to be a problem, although less of one. Impairment losses on trade receivables was S$45 million in 4Q15, down from S$82 million in the prior year quarter and S$92 million in the prior sequential quarter,” Govertsen said in a note. “Bad debt should be reduced throughout 2016 as more strict credit policies are anniversaried, although these same more strict credit policies are likely to result in stagnant VIP volume at best.”
Bad debt, however, is not the only thing plaguing the casino operator. There’s also China’s economy, anti-corruption drive, the weakening Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah, according to the Union Gaming analyst.
“RWS VIP segment continues to decline (-44% y/y, -2% sequentially) as the property is not only dealing with demand weakness on several fronts, but with management’s more cautious strategy,” Govertsen said. “At best, we believe this segment will be stable going forward from a volume perspective relative to 4Q15.”
Genting Singapore said that its “gaming revenue was impacted by a lower VIP gaming market as we continue to tighten our credit policies.”
“The decrease in revenue was partially mitigated by lower operating costs and overheads, which was achieved through various operational efficiency improvement initiatives,” the company said in a statement.