Imperial Pacific Future Uncertain After Recording $503m Loss in 2019

  • Coronavirus will have a material impact on Imperial Pacific for at least the first half of 2020
  • Casino in Saipan closed for 10 days in March to try to stop the virus spreading
  • Hong Kong-listed company's revenue tumbled 83% in 2019 to $69.6m
  • Revenue generated by VIP gamblers in 2019 represents a 91% decline
calculator with money - losses written on screen
Imperial Pacific International lost $503m in 2019 and its future now looks uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic. [Image:]

Concerns are growing

Imperial Pacific International Holdings Ltd, a company developing a casino resort on the island of Saipan, recorded a loss of $503m in 2019. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, concerns are growing for the company’s future.

The company spoke about the impact of the ongoing pandemic is having on its business. In an attempt to try to stop the spreading of the virus on the island, the company closed the casino for a 10-day period on March 17. 

noted how the intensity and duration of the coronavirus is causing massive disruption

Imperial Pacific also noted how the intensity and duration of the coronavirus is causing massive disruption in relation to visitation and travel. As a result, the group expects that the pandemic will have a material impact on its financial results for at least the first six months of 2020. 

A significant reason for the losses was a decline in VIP gambler numbers. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic affecting gambling hubs across the world for the foreseeable future, these VIP figures will likely decline even further.

Heavy losses in recent years

Imperial Pacific has not been having the best of luck in recent years. Its losses for 2019 were more than the $380m lost in 2018. The company generated evenue of $69.6m, representing a year-on-year decline of 83.4%.

The company is in the middle of redeveloping its luxury resort in Saipan. The casino remains open to gamblers while development work is carried out. In 2019, Imperial Pacific invested $879m into the project, mainly in its

design, consulting, engineering, construction material, and labour.”

This followed an investment of $792m in 2018. 

VIP revenue tumbles

VIP gambling revenue dropped by 91% from $380m in 2018 to $32.8m in 2019. There has been an ongoing trend in the Asia-Pacific region of lower numbers of high rollers visiting gambling hubs, such as Macau. One of the reasons for this is believed to be due to the slowing economy in China before the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

Of the total revenue generated from its casino business, 47% came from VIP gamblers in 2019. Imperial Pacific put this decrease down to “adverse market conditions and tightening market credits.”

Saipan casino resort hit by delays

The development of the Saipan casino resort has also experienced many delays. It was supposed to be completed in August 2017. After a delay, the final completion date was moved to the end of 2018. It now looks like the project will not be completed until August 2022.

Reasons behind the delays include lawsuits concerning alleged unpaid wages, management changes, and a number of federal investigations.

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