Russia’s Summit Ascent Holdings had its profits go up last year despite a small modest rise in earnings at its Tigre de Cristal Casino at the Primorye gaming Zone, outside of Vladivostok.

Numbers posted this Monday indicate that the Summit Ascent, listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange, reported revenues worth HK$532.8 million last year, which represents a 15 percent rise over figures posted in 2018. The firm’s adjusted revenues were attributed to Oriental Regent Ltd, the 60 percent owned firm operating Tigre de Cristal, went up 18 percent to about HK$532.8 million while its profits also rose to HK$82 million from the previous HK$7.6 million in 2019.

This surge in profit came in as a result of an increase in interest income in banks as well as foreign exchange rates, along with a decrease in depreciation charges and employee costs. The firm also enjoyed serious decrease in debts owed by VIPs who have been operating on credit.

The abilities to collect all these debts indicates the firm’s newfound relationship with Suncity Group, a junket operator, which accounted for close to 28 percent of total stake in Summit Ascent in April of 2019. Tigre de Cristal also reported an instant surge gambling activity by its VIP customer base after the doubled the number of VIP tables towards the end of 2019.

Tigre de Cristal also reported a slight reduction in both VIP win and turnover rate last year. VIP rebates also dropped by more that 15 percent, which allowed revenues to go up by close to 12 percent to a total of HK$122 million. The casino was able to operate more up to 22 VIP tables in 2019, an increase from the previous figure of 14 recorded two years ago.

Decline in mass tables hit 7.2 percent to just HK$751 million while revenues went up 4 percent to about HK$174 million. Tigre de Cristal ran, in total, 27 mass tables last year, which is six more that in 2018.

The firm’s slot business, which mainly eyes local Russian players, saw a rise of about one-fifth, slot revenues also went up by a third to a total of HK$143 million while the wins gained an extra half point to 5.5 percent. The average daily slot machines use in 2019 was about 336, an increase from the previous figure of 310 in 2018. Revenues from non-gaming products went up 15 percent to HK$50.6 million as the hotel occupancy rates went up 4 points to approximately 88 percent during the weekends and 63 percent during weekdays.

Alvin Chau, the boss who took over management of Summit Ascent in 2019, stated that de Cristal was making alterations and improvements in an effort to attract their discerning clientele. He went on to say that their newest VIP Salon is in final stages of construction and is expected to attract high rollers in the coming H1.

The firm noted that COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has cause Russia to halt, temporarily, entry of Chinese nationals, including those from Macau and Hong Kong, and this has greatly impacted VIP activity. But, the firm also added that this quarter is traditionally slow and they are looking forward to a quick rebound once the coronavirus pandemic ends.


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