Bloomberry facing challenging times | Inquirer Business

Bloomberry facing challenging times

/ 05:20 AM March 06, 2020

After a banner year in 2019, integrated gaming resort operator Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is off to a challenging new year as the COVID-19 epidemic shakes out travel and tourism markets in the region.

“We are off to a rough start in 2020 as we contend with the tourism impact of an official world health emergency. However, we remain steadfast and aim to demonstrate our resilience by working toward another year of operating excellence,” Bloomberry chair and CEO Enrique Razon Jr. said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

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“We continue to focus on our next leg of growth as work on Solaire North progresses smoothly. We are on track to complete the project in the second half of 2023,” he added.

For Bloomberry, sustainable long-term growth lies within Solaire’s high-margin mass gaming segment that benefits from what the company describes as a “healthy” domestic patron database.

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Bloomberry has an unused P40-billion loan facility that can partially fund the construction, preopening and preoperating expense requirements of Solaire North near the Trinoma complex in Quezon City. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Philippines has banned visitors from China and its special administrative regions, which currently account for 26 percent of tourist arrivals.

Earlier, a research from Citi projected that the travel ban could reduce tourism revenues by 0.23 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). This is seen to translate to a 9.7-percent drop in tourist arrivals from the annual 8.1 million head count if the travel ban would last until June this year.

Tourism revenue accounted for about 12.7 percent of the country’s total GDP in 2018, and Chinese tourists are the second largest number of visitors in the country. Many of the casinos in the region also highly depend on foot traffic brought in by Chinese junket operators. Bloomberry Resorts Corp. grew its net profit last year by 38 percent to a record high P9.9 billion as flagship Solaire Resort & Casino significantly improved its “win” ratio against high-rollers compared to the previous year. —Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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TAGS: Bloomberry Resorts Corp., COVID-19
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