Net profit of Philippine-listed casino operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. (TIHGI) jumped three-fold in the first six months of 2018 as visitors returned to Resorts World Manila (RWM) more than a year after the grisly arson attack in the gambling establishment.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, TIHGI announced that its net profit totaled PHP1.69 billion (US$31.7 million) in the first half of 2018, higher than the PHP373 million ($6.99 million) it posted in the prior-year period.
However, TIGHI reported that its gross revenue slipped 1.5 percent to PHP11.05 billion ($207.2 million) in the January to June 2018 period from PHP11.22 billion in the same period last year due to the closure of its second floor gaming area.
It would be recalled that TIGHI moved RWM’s gaming area to the ground and third floors as part of an overhaul of its security operations. The second floor of the facility, which was set on fire by a man named Jesse Javier Carlos when he barged inside the RWM premises in June 2017, would be used for other non-gaming purposes.
Gaming revenues also went down 2.6 percent to PHP9.01 billion ($168.95 million) year-on-year on a slightly lower blended hold rate of 5.3 percent. VIP segment win rate for the first half of 2018 improved to 3 percent compared to 2.5 percent in the first six months of 2017.
However, the weakness of TIGHI’s gaming revenue was offset by the stellar performance of its non-gaming services. The casino operator reported that its non-gaming revenues rose 4.4 percent to PHP1.52 billion ($28.5 million) in H1 2018 from PHP1.45 billion ($27.19 million) in the same period last year, with average hotel-occupancy rates at 80 percent.
TIGHI pointed out that revenues from hotel, food, beverage and others contributed 13.8 percent and 13.9 percent, respectively, to the company’s H1 2018 gross revenue.
Including finance income and other non-operating income, TIGHI booked nearly PHP1.66 billion ($31.13 million) in “other” income in the first six months of 2018 versus the PHP666.8 million ($12.5 million) loss it incurred in H1 2017. TIGHI also reported a PHP22.4 million ($420,030.24) income from unrealized fair value gains on available-for-sale financial assets.
TIHGI President and CEO Kingson Sian expects TIGHI’s premium gaming business to grow in the future with the launch of a portion of RWM’s Grand Wing in May. The Grand Wing will have three international luxury hotels—Hilton Manila, Sheraton Manila Hotel, and Hotel Okura Manila—adding approximately 940 rooms. It will also include new gaming, entertainment, and retail spaces, as well as six basement parking decks.
“We continue to see growth in both our gaming and non-gaming business,” Sian said in a statement. “This was supported by uptrends in both non-VIP and VIP segments, average daily visitation of 26,000 in the first half of 2018, and improvement in hotel occupancy.”