Genting Singapore posts $88.2m first-half profit, expects recovery to be uncertain

Genting Singapore posted earnings of $88.2 million for the six months to Jun 30 after a loss in the same period last year. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Genting Singapore moved back into the black for the half-year after operations resumed at Resorts World Sentosa, albeit with fewer visitors than in pre-pandemic days.

The company posted earnings of $88.2 million for the six months to June 30 after a loss in the same period last year.

The resorts group logged its worst quarterly showing in the second quarter of 2020 since the opening of its Singapore complex over a decade ago.

Despite improvements this year, the group sounded a sombre note on the back of new Covid-19 variants and strict reopening measures.

It noted after markets closed on Thursday (Aug 12): "In the short term, we do not anticipate any measurable increase in business sentiment until we have greater visibility of the border re-openings."

First-half revenue rose 24 per cent year on year to $554.8 million, while earnings per share stood at 0.73 cents.

No interim dividend was declared due to the impact of the pandemic on the group's performance and the broader economy but the board said it intended to declare a final dividend at the end of the financial year.

The group acquired leasehold land to expand its Singapore facility during the first half, resulting in an outflow of $879.7 million for purchases of plant, property and equipment.

It is also leading a consortium to build a gambling resort in the Japanese port city of Yokohoma, and is still awaiting the outcome of the bid.

Genting Singapore said the Singapore Government's support measures, including the $100 SingaporeRediscovers vouchers scheme, have helped it offset some of the challenges during the pandemic.

Still, ongoing travel restrictions between Singapore and its traditional Asian markets continue to "significantly impact" its performance, it said.

"With the Covid-19 pandemic still raging in our regional markets, we believe a sustained and broad-based recovery in travel and tourism will be protracted and subject to a high degree of uncertainty."

Genting Singapore shares closed unchanged at 80 cents.

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