Hong Kong-based casino operator Summit Ascent Holdings saw its profits soar in 2019 despite a comparatively modest increase in revenue at its Tigre de Cristal casino in the Primorye gaming zone outside Russia’s Vladivostok, KalvinAyre.com reports.
Figures released Monday show Summit Ascent reported its revenue hitting ($67.8 million) in 2019, a 15% rise over 2018’s result. Adjusted earnings attributable to Oriental Regent Ltd, the 60%-owned subsidiary that operates Tigre de Cristal, rose 18% to $27.7 million while profit soared to $10.57 million from just $970,000 the previous year.
The profit surge came in part due to a rise in bank interest income and some positive foreign exchange figures, along with decreased employee costs and depreciation charges. The company also enjoyed a serious decrease in debts owed by VIP gamblers operating on credit markers.
The ability to collect on VIP gambling debts reflects Summit Ascent’s new relationship with junket operator Suncity Group, which took a nearly 28% stake in Summit Ascent last April (subsequently reduced to just under 25%). Tigre de Cristal reported an almost immediate surge in VIP gambling activity after effectively doubling its number of VIP tables by the end of H1 2019.
The slots business, which largely targets a local Russian player base, saw handle rise nearly one-fifth while slots revenue shot up nearly one-third to HK$143m as win gained half a point to 5.5%. The daily average number of slot machines in action last year was 336, up from 310 the year before.
Non-gaming revenue was up 15% to HK$50.6m as hotel occupancy rates rose four points to 88% on weekends and rose eight points to 63% on weekdays.
Alvin Chau, the Suncity boss who took over as Summit Ascent chairman last year, said Tigre de Cristal had been “rapidly making alternations and improvements to attract and retain our discerning clientele.”