Troubled casino operator Imperial Pacific International, which owns and operates Imperial Palace‧Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, has reported a loss of HK$797.9 million (US$103.2 million) for the six months to 30 June 2020.
The loss is significantly lower than the HK$1.88 billion (US$242.6 million) loss IPI recorded in the same period last year, due primarily to lower operating costs and reduced accumulation of bad debt in its VIP gaming sector following the closure of all casino operations in March due to COVID-19. IPI’s impairment losses on such debt was HK$222.1 million (US$28.7 million) versus HK$1.35 billion (US$174.2 million) in 1H19.
The collection of gaming debts has proved to be a thorn in the company’s side in recent years, negating more than US$100 billion in VIP roll reported from late 2015 through 2019 – at its peak said to be more than even The Venetian Macao.
In its 1H20 results release, published late Monday, IPI said VIP rolling chip volume for the period was HK$846 million (US$109.2 million), down from HK$8.34 billion (US$1.08 billion) in the first half of last year.
Gross trade receivables owing to the company actually decreased but still sit at HK$9.05 billion (US$1.17 billion). Of that amount, HK$1.08 billion (US$139.4 million) is owing from the group’s single largest customer and HK$3.06 billion (US$394.8 million) from the 10 largest combined.
“The Board has prudently benchmarked against its industry peers on provision of bad debt on trade receivables and considered that the impairment of trade receivables as estimated by the Company in the condensed consolidated statement of profit or loss and other comprehensive income for the period ended 30 June 2020 to be comparable and in line with global industry standard,” it said.
IPI added that it has now spent US$904 million on development of Imperial Palace‧Saipan, which is still under construction.