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ASIA & OCEANIA


Aristo Vietnam Attendance Slashed


Donaco International’s Vietnam casino, Aristo International, has seen its attendance slashed by 75 per cent due to Coronavirus clampdown


Australian-listed Donaco International Limited has confirmed its Vietnam casino Aristo International Hotel, located at the border with Yunnan Province in China, has been heavily impacted by the Coronavirus with attendance falling by 75 per cent in February.


Te border crossing at Lao Cai is currently tightly restricted, with crossing allowed only for visitors with an “urgent” or “official” business reason. Tis has led to a substantial reduction in players visiting the Aristo casino hall, and consequent reduction in gaming turnover. Te Board stated: "Te virus has had a specific impact on Donaco’s business operation at the Aristo International Hotel in Lao Cai, Vietnam, which borders Yunnan Province, China. For the first 11 days of February 2020, total casino visitation was 1,374 players, averaging approximately 125 players per day. Tis is a decline of 75 per cent from the first 11 days of January 2020, when casino visitation was 5,510


Philippines Slots for JPark Island Resort in Cebu


Asia Pioneer Entertainment has entered into an Operating Lease Agreement with Glimex to lease electronic gaming equipment to Glimex, for use at Palace Casino located at JPark Island Resort in Cebu the Philippines, for a term of 24 months. APE will place up to 86 units of Electronic Gaming Equipment (EGE) at JPark Palace Casino on an operating lease basis and will receive a variable rental income through Glimex of the equivalent 22.5 per cent of the net performance of each leased EGE quarterly.


Tis agreement is in addition to the existing 24 units of EGE that APE supplied under Finance Lease agreement with Glimex in December 2018 bringing the total number of EGE supplied to Palace Casino to 110 units. Glimex is a company duly organised and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the Philippines and is principally engaged in the business of distribution of


products in the power, energy and gaming sectors. Glimex is a sub- operator and has entered into an operating agreement with the operator which is the VIP tour operator concession owner of Palace Casino at Jpark Island Resort, the Philippines.


Mr. Chan, Tony Chi Lun, Chief Financial Offer and Executive Director of APE said: "As a total solutions provider of EGEs for land-based casinos in Macau as well as other regions in Asia, we are really excited to enter into this Operating Lease Agreement with Glimex, to extend our footprints in the Philippines. Tis is a strategic move for APE to scale our operating leasing business in Asia and we will devote ourselves to seize the opportunities generating from the demand from Glimex and the market in this country. In addition, we may further expand the operating leasing business in Macau and other counties in the South East Asia in the future.”


players, averaging approximately 501 players per day.


"Rolling chip turnover in the first 11 days of February declined by 82 per cent, compared to the first 11 days of January 2020. Te decline was from RMB317 million to RMB58m," it added. "Currently there is no time frame on the partial closure of the border crossing, which is likely to depend on the success of the broader efforts being undertaken within China and around the world to contain the virus. In response to the slowdown in the business, Aristo management have arranged unpaid leave for many staff members in February, and have also reduced total headcount, as well as deferring various capital expenditure projects.


"In relation to the company’s largest business, the Donaco Star Vegas casino in Poipet, Cambodia, there is no direct impact noticed as yet from the coronavirus.”


China


Analysts at Sanford Bernstein don’t believe the reopening of Macau’s casinos following the spread of the Coronavirus will be enough to save first quarter revenues from plummeting to year-on-year declines of up to 60 per cent. Bernstein’s Vitaly Umansky, Eunice Lee and Kelsey Zhu warned: “Even with the casinos reopening, there will still be a dearth of customers.


“Te suspension of group travel and IVS visa issuance eliminates the largest source of customers. Until the suspensions are lifted, most mainland Chinese customers will not be able to enter Macau. Tere is no clarity at this time from China when such travel may begin to be permitted. Visitation is only a mere trickle out of mainland China. Q1 is obviously going to show awful results,” they added. “Assuming a two-week shutdown followed by some soft business resuming in late February and March, Q1 could show a GGR year-on-year decline of 50 per cent.”


NEW ZEALAND – SkyCity Entertainment’s results for the first half of the 2020 financial year demonstrated an underlying positive performance from the New Zealand businesses and a satisfactory performance from Adelaide, offset by a weaker performance from its international operations. CEO Graeme Stephens said: "Overall at the half-year, our underlying performance is broadly in line with the guidance we provided at the beginning of the year. It's been okay in Adelaide with a relatively poor start to the year Q1, but a much better Q2 and a couple of months in a row now of decent performance, which is hopefully reflective of its future. It's fair to say that the environment is very challenging.”


Auckland EBITDA was up four per cent on a like-for- like basis, and Hamilton and Queenstown both delivered double-digit EBITDA growth on a like-for- like basis. Adelaide had a satisfactory performance with a weak first quarter offset by a stronger second quarter. “We have been closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak. There have been no significant impacts evident for our domestic businesses over the past three weeks, though there has been a negative impact on international over the Chinese New Year period and some planned visits from key customers have been postponed or cancelled. We are seeing some softness in table games and that might be related to Corona. I'm sure there is something in that. But at the same time, we are renovating core components of our tables. It is too early and uncertain to estimate any future financial impacts – but based on past precedent, we expect any impact to be temporary. Fortunately, international typically represents around only 10 per cent of our Group EBITDA.


Michael Ahearne, SkyCity COO, said: “Gaming machine performance continues to be solid, 3.5 per cent growth in the half, which is pleasing. We are benefiting from ongoing investment in new product, a refinement of the product mix that we have on the floor. We currently have about 100 machines less than we are licensed for on our floors, but we're seeing actually an improved performance with that less product as we give a much better experience to customers. We will get those machines back on our floors as we open the new VIP gaming area in May, [when] we'll be back to our full complement of machines on property.


“Table games performance, a little bit faster than game machines, but we saw growth there. And what we're actually seeing there is we're seeing the automated table games, particularly the semi- automated products, which is using the live dealer, performing very strongly, and we're seeing customers moving to that product and cannibalising the traditional property, the traditional table games product.”


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P33


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