Huge volume quarter but low hold holds back revs and EBITDA.
The first quarter’s performance was largely affected by a much weaker win percentage in the premium players’ business despite a significant increase in the premium players’ rolling volume. The non-gaming business continued to perform well, registering a healthy growth of 17%
CONF CALL NOTES
- Premium player volume increased 38% YoY and the highest level of volume ever achieved at the property
- They are also enhancing their gaming rewards program
- China's economy expanded below market expectations and believe that near-term growth will be muted
- Tourist arrivals in Singapore are only expected to grow at 3-5% vs. a 7% growth rate experienced over the past few years. Tourist spend is also expected to slow.
- They are putting measures in place to better manage their costs and foster efficiencies in light of the tight labor market
- Plan to acquire or develop similar businesses to leverage their competancies
- Optimism on VIP volume expressed on the last call has manifested in their best volume Q ever. However, moving forward, they are more cautious given the noise coming out of China. Also Malaysia is going through an election process. The political situation there is also uncertain. Therefore they are a little more cautious for the next 2 quarters.
- The strength in VIP volume was spread over February and March, January was pretty weak as usual as it's the month before CNY
- VIP hold was 2.12%
- Mass segment: Non-rolling win grew mid-single digit level, slot win was flat.
- Credit: They are not pulling back but are being a little more cautious
- Market share detail for Mass: 47% share
- Japan: On April 24th there was a meeting of the bipartisan committee headed by a very influential person (expert chief secretary to the previous LDP governemnt). This is the first time they are seeing such senior officials in the bipartisan committee. They believe that this is a sign that the bill will be moving forward. PM Abe also said that casinos would be good for the country. Feel like they will put the legislation to a vote this Fall. The Upper House elections will be over in July and at that point the LVP will have a majority and so the vote should occur October/November. Think that there is a 70-80% chance that the legislation goes through.
- Legislation would then indicate which regions could have gaming - that could take 12 months
- If they held at 2.85% their EBITDA would have been S$400MM
- Genting has been making small write-offs - not as significant as MBS. The new Casino Control Act allows them to make write-offs. Previous process involved a difficult application process. There should be more (small) write-offs this year.
- How are their efforts coming along in developing the premium mass players?
- Commissions are in the form of comps - don't see them increasing the costs of tapping that market. Think that there is more potential to tap that market for players that are within a 3-4 hour flight from there
- Commissions have been quite steady over the last 3 years
- Any change from the diversity of VIP players? Demographics are more or less the same to what they have been seeing. That said they are still trying to grow the market from North Asia - Macau is closer to them so they don't come to Singapore much. So at the moment SE Asia is really the focus of premium mass player attraction.
- Mass Market side hold rate: 24-25%. The higher win % is a manifestation of the table mix. As the casino becomes more or less mature, this rate is "normal"- don't expect it to go much higher
- VIP RC increase: Most of the growth came from new customers. There wasn't much of a change in geographical mix.
- Casino Control Act does not address junkets or their ability to lend. Right now the junkets are negligible.
- Need junkets that have more working capital and larger customer bases to make a difference. The 2 they have today are Malayasian and have limited WC and customer bases.
- 360 moving day average of VIP RC win % is getting to be normalized
- Any impact from the impact of Solaire? No
- Did the rebate cost (absolute) fall QoQ? No, it was flat.
- They are not allowed to do revenue sharing agreement by law
- Their caution towards China is more from a macro perspective vs. what they are seeing in their facility. Hearing that credit extension within China is slowing down.
- Their non-gaming amenities also have some flow-through to their facility. People with young families don't go to the casino but other guests do.
- Amount of regulation between Macau and China are quite different. For example, the anti-money laundering rule that has come into effect... impacts Singapore more than Macau, while Macau is looking at implementing something similar i.e. some of the players don't like the level of regulatory scrutiny in Singapore and therefore prefer to stick with Macau as their area of play.
- Yes they have hired an EVP of operations who only looks after non-gaming at this time. Hee Teck also getting older and needs to look for a successor. But that is not likely going to happen for 2-3 years. Now that they have been in operations for more than 3 years, the Sr mgmt is very good. Increasingly from an operations perspective, he will be stepping back but will stay involved from a marketing and sales perspective so that he can focus on growing the company. Need another major project. It's in the interest of shareholders for Hee Tek to free up at least 50% of his time to look at new projects. Japan is a major focus but they are also looking in two other major projects.
- Genting Singapore's major focus is in Asia
- Mix between VIP and Mass: 49% VIP/ 61% Mass
- 46% share on a gross revenue basis
- QoQ: 14% VIP RC growth
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE RELEASE
- Resorts World Singapore reported S$669MM of net revenue and S$225MM of Adjusted EBITDA and the Group reported revenue of S$670 million and Adjusted EBITDA of S$250MM
- Looking ahead, there still exists a certain level of uncertainty over the global economy from the lingering effects of the issues facing the United States and Europe, and the lower than expected economic growth in China in the first quarter this year. The economic growth in Singapore is also expected to remain weak this year due to lower than expected growth in the first quarter. In addition, the Singapore Tourism Board has forecast a slowdown in tourist arrivals and tourism spend going forward mainly due to keen regional competition for the same tourism pie and Singapore's tight labour market. Nevertheless, as an integrated resort destination with two mega attractions in a single location, we are confident that our resort will continue to hold its own in the longer term.
- Being one of the largest employers in Singapore with over 13,600 employees, we face challenges in stabilising an experienced and service oriented work force. We are striving to improve productivity and restructure processes.
- At the Group level, Genting Singapore’s efforts are focused towards identifying, evaluating and investing in new projects that create greater shareholder value. Over the last six months we have been investing more on human capital at the management level. We will leverage on our expertise, brand, excellent management track record and financial strength to acquire and / or develop similar businesses that will complement our core competencies.
- Marine Life Park remained popular and attracted approximately 7,400 visitors daily while Universal Studios Singapore recorded an average daily visitation of 8,400. The hotel business continued to register high occupancy rate of 92%, with an average room rate of S$404.
- In March 2013, we opened our latest family attraction - Sesame Street Spaghetti Space Chase, the world’s first fully immersive Sesame Street indoor themed ride with Elmo and friends.
- We are enhancing our loyalty programmes to enable us to better service and reward both our gaming and non-gaming customers. RWS Invites, our non-gaming loyalty programme designed to drive loyalty and repeat visitation to our non-gaming facilities, celebrated its first anniversary with enhanced member privileges and benefits.
- Genting spent a total of S$255.2 million for the purchase of property, plant and equipment, including the purchase of land in the Jurong Lake precinct for hotel development