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Okada Manila to launch Cove Manila dome in December as Universal seeks profit boost

Thursday, 09 November 2017 04:42
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Universal Entertainment Corporation has announced a December 2017 launch of Okada Manila’s key attraction, Cove Manila – an all-weather dome featuring a beach club, nightclub and space for 5,000 visitors at its Philippine integrated resort.

The news formed part of Universal’s earnings report for the three months to September 30, released on Wednesday, which saw the company post an operating loss of JPY10.3 billion (US$90.5 million), a substantial decline after posting profit of JPY23.8 billion 12 months earlier.

Much of that loss, JPY7.1 billion, can be attributed to Okada Manila, which held its soft opening in December 2016 but is still undergoing major construction work.

Casino revenue for the quarter was JPY8.9 billion with Universal stating that it expects earnings to “continue to increase due to the completion of a VIP casino and other measures.”

“The plan is for Okada Manila to start making a material contribution to consolidated performance once this resort and casino holds its grand opening,” it said, adding that work is now in the final stage of preparations for the planned grand opening in early 2018.

“Okada Manila plans to start operating Cove Manila in December 2017. This all-weather dome has a beach club, night club and space for 5,000 people to attend a variety of events. The dome will be a key symbol of this casino and resort along with The Fountain, which made its debut in March 2017.”

Despite its operating loss, analysts predict Okada Manila has doubled its Manila market share during the quarter to around 13% and it is tipped to become the dominant player by 2019 with between 30% to 32% market share, according to a recent report by Morgan Stanley.

Universal said that revenue growth was also encouraging, stating, “The casino, which includes a VIP section, has been generating steady growth in revenue. In addition, the number of completed rooms in the Pearl Wing luxury hotel, which will have 464 rooms when finished, is increasing. Construction of the fine dining section and shopping mall is also developing and more tenants are starting operations. The improvement in monthly profitability is continuing in the casino resort business as the rising utilization rate of facilities makes it possible to cover an increasing amount of fixed expenses.”

Universal’s pachislot and pachinko business posted net sales of JPY33.1 billion (US$290.8 million) for the three months to 30 September, down 39.9% year-on-year, and operating profit of JPY1.8 billion, a decrease of 92.5%.

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