Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp fell to a JPY4.33 billion (US$38.0 million) loss through the first nine months of 2021, impacted by a significant reduction in new pachinko and pachislot machines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Universal’s cumulative financial statements through 30 September 2021, the total number of machines sold fell from 139,152 over the same period in 2020 to 82,003 – a decline that could have been greater if not for a strong recovery in Q3, which accounted for 49,866 of this year’s sales.
As a result, net segment sales fell 36.7% to JP35.19 billion (US$308.5 million) and operating profit by 77.5% to JPY4.95 billion (US$43.4 million).
“There were expectations for an upturn in consumer spending in Japan in the cumulative third quarter of 2021 … however this did not happen due to new states of emergency declared by many Japanese prefectures in response toa. Wave of new infections,” Universal said.
“In the amusement machine industry, there is still no recovery in the number of customers or the level of operations at pachinko halls even though they are operating along with numerous pandemic safety measures. In this difficult business climate, pachinko hall operators remain cautious about replacing existing machines with new titles.”
The decline in Universal’s pachinko and pachislot business was slightly offset by the company’s Philippines integrated resort, Okada Manila, which saw a slight increase in net sales to JPY21.71 billion (US$190.3 million) for the first nine months of 2021 but managed to narrow its loss from JPY7.62 billion (US$66.8 million) to JPY2.54 billion (US$22.3 million).
Okada Manila operator Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment Inc (TRLEI) last month reported gross gaming revenue of Php4.17 billion (US$82.3 million) in the three months to 30 September 2021, significantly improved over the company’s quarterly average of Php2.21 billion (US$43.6 million) between April and December 2020. The result also compared favorably with 2Q21, when Okada Manila recorded GGR of Php2.61 billion (US$51.9 million).