Imperial Pacific International (IPI) says it has been forced to operate a “leaner finance department” to help it through the COVID-19 pandemic after revealing the departure of Chief Financial Officer Ed Chen.
With casino operations temporarily suspended as of 17 March, and having previously cut staff hours by 30% due to reduced business from the pandemic, IPI issued a statement on Friday in which it described the departure of Chen as a “difficult decision,” according to Marianas Variety, but that “we believe a leaner finance department is essential to the success of the company going forward.
“Our goal is to ensure that we have an efficient and effective organization to endure economic hardship and thrive in the future.”
IPI added that it plans to “speed up on our construction work” of its troubled Imperial Palace‧Saipan integrated resort, “to ensure that when the tourists come back, we are in a much stronger position to be profitable and contribute to the CNMI economy.”
Chen’s departure comes just days after executive director Teng Sio I, a former Chairman of the company, resigned from the board and a week after IPI reported a widened loss of HK$3.94 billion (US$508 million) in 2019, with revenue plummeting 83.4% to just HK$539 million (US$69.5 million).
The company continues to be burned by its inability to recoup money owed by VIP players, revealing outstanding receivables of more than HK$9 billion as of 31 December 2019 of which it has already written off HK$7 billion.