Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent International saw its Russian integrated resort, Tigre de Cristal, move into profit in 2018, driven by a substantial increase in its mass and premium mass gaming business.
The group announced a profit for the 12 months ended 31 December 2018 of HK$4.1 million compared with a loss of HK$10.0 million in 2017, despite revenue declining 1.6% to HK$463.2 million. The revenue fall was primarily due to a weak Russian ruble negatively impacting revenue reported in Hong Kong dollars, Summit Ascent said.
Mass market table drop at Tigre de Cristal increased 21% to HK$700 million in 2018, with mass win up 26% from HK$132 million to HK$167 million, becoming “the main contributor to the profitability of the group for the year.” Hold percentage also increased from 22.9% to 23.9%. Likewise, slot win grew 19% year-over-year to HK$143 million in 2018 on the back of a 30% increase in slot handle.
Summit Ascent announced last September that it was turning its focus away from VIP and towards mass and premium mass.
On the back of this change of focus, rolling chip turnover declined 17% year-on-year to HK$15.6 billion, with net win down 35% to HK$109 million. Gross win percentage also fell from 3.69% to 3.11%.
In property update, Summit Ascent also revealed that it had pushed back the opening date of its planned Phase II development from late 2020 to early 2021. However, Chairman Kuo Jen Hao added that it has begun preparatory works for the construction of villas and serviced apartments beside Tigre de Cristal, which are expected to come online early next year and will increase accommodation capacity by around 50%.
“The group remains fully committed to continuous enhancement of Tigre de Cristal,” he said. “We plan to finalize the revised designs and financing for our Phase II project in the coming months and are now targeting an opening in the summer of 2021.
“Accelerated construction by other integrated resort operators in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone are further validating our business proposition, and we believe that the cluster effect will enable the area to achieve critical mass in the coming years.”