A strong recovery in the second half of the year has helped Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent Holdings record a profit of HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) in 2020 – reversing a loss of HK$47 million (US$6.1 million) recorded in the six months to 30 June.
Aided by the reopening of its Russian integrated resort Tigre de Cristal, located in in the Primorye Entertainment Zone near Vladivostok, in July following a four-month closure due to COVID-19, Summit Ascent generated EBITDA of HK$7.4 million (US$1.0 million) in 2H20, partially offsetting a HK$22.1 million (US$2.8 million) 1H loss to record a 2020 EBITDA loss of HK$14.7 million (US$1.9 million).
Revenue for the year declined 60% year-on-year to HK$211.2 million (US$27.2 million) of which around HK$115 million (US$14.8 million) was recorded in the second half of the year – driven by the mass gaming segment. With the closure of international borders keeping VIP volumes suppressed (and 2020 win at just HK$18 million), mass tables contributed win of HK$82 million (US$10.6 million) and electronic gaming HK$103 million (US$13.3 million).
Summit Ascent, of which Suncity Group Holdings holds a 69.66% stake, increased its stake in Tigre de Cristal operator Oriental Regent Ltd from 60% to 77.5% last November via a rights issue aimed at raising funds for the IR’s upcoming Phase II development.
In an update provided with the company’s 2020 results announcement overnight, Summit Ascent revealed it has now completed an upgrade to Phase 1 with a brand-new Suncity VIP room now operational. A new authentic hotpot restaurant and a new club are also open.
Alvin Chau, Chairman of both Suncity Group and Summit Ascent, said Tigre de Cristal’s 2H recovery “confirms my belief that Summit Ascent is worth investing in for the long-term because Tigre de Cristal is an integrated resort well-loved by both local Russians and tourists.
“Now being the parent company, Suncity has every reason to back up Summit Ascent to ensure that it can leverage on the resources under the Suncity umbrella.
“I am also pleased to announce that a new Direct VIP business will be set up, tapping into the nearby Korean, Japanese and Southeast Asian markets. This new business could help Summit Ascent achieve vertical integration, a move to boost returns in the high-roller market.
“All eyes await when the international borders may reopen, as I am confident that with Suncity chipping in, Tigre de Cristal will leap like a tiger and dazzle a crystal in the near future.”