Hong Kong-listed International Entertainment Corp (IEC) slipped to a loss of HK$49.3 million, down from a profit of approximately HK$14.6 million, in the six months to 31 December 2019 on the back of high operating expenses associated with its football operations in the UK.
The loss came despite an increase in revenue from its various gaming and hospitality segments – particularly the leasing of property for gaming operations to Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR.
According to the company’s latest financial results issued Tuesday, revenue derived from leasing of space at New World Manila Bay Hotel & Casino increased 6.4% to HK$101.4 million, comprising 42.4% of group-wide revenue for the period. IEC’s monthly rental income is based on an agreed percentage of net gaming revenue generated by PAGCOR on the premises, the company said.
Hotel operations at the same venue, comprising room, food and beverage, saw a 1.1% increase in revenue to HK$54.3 million
IEC also reported HK$3.4 million in revenue from running live poker events. Poker revenue, coming after the company signed an agreement with The Stars Group to operate land-based live events and poker rooms under the branding of PokerStars in Macau, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia, contributed just 1.4% of revenue.
IEC’s group-wide revenue grew 60.6% for the six-month period to HK$239.3 million, of which HK$80.1 million or 33.5% was contributed from the operations of Wigan Athletic Football Club, which it purchased in November 2018. However, the football segment was also responsible for IEC slipping into loss with the cost of operations coming in at HK$104.9 million.
IEC earlier this month announced that it has entered into a conditional agreement to sell its entire stake in Wigan Athletic Football Club for a consideration of HK$175.35 million.