Hong Kong-listed International Entertainment Corp (IEC) has reported a loss attributable to owners of the company of HK$91.1 million (US$11.7 million) for the six months to 31 December 2020, primarily impacted by loss of revenue across its Philippines hotel and gaming segments.
IEC operates New Coast Hotel Manila where it leases casino and related gaming equipment to PAGCOR. It also holds the rights to operate land-based live events and poker rooms under the branding of PokerStars in Macau, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia.
With COVID-19 forcing casinos across Manila to shut their doors between March and August 2020, and with limited operations since, IEC saw its revenue from the leasing of space to Philippines gaming regulator and casino operator PAGCOR – calculated as a percentage of GGR – decline 85.8% to HK$14.4 million. Likewise, revenue from hotel operations, namely room revenue, food and beverage, and other hotel services, declined 61.5% to HK$20.9 million.
There was no revenue derived from live poker due to the lack of events in the second half of 2020.
Despite the difficult operating environment, IEC – which is looking to develop New Coast Hotel Manila into an integrated resort-style property – said it remains confident in the long-term prospects of the Philippines market.
“The Group will continue to focus on its existing business operations and investments in the Philippines riding on business environment to strive for exploring potential business opportunities,” it said.
“The tourism industry in the Philippines is expected to grow after COVID-19 pandemic, with higher disposable incomes, increasingly discerning market demographic[s] and other positive factors [which] have driven the booming development of the Philippines.”
Regarding its IR ambitions, the company said it hopes to “expand and upgrade the current hotel premises, facilities and services by the establishment and operation of a casino and the development of an integrated resort in the Philippines.
“The Board will consider different financing method[s] and change[s] of capital structure in order to expand our business and maintain the liquidity of the Group.”