Genting Malaysia Chairman and CEO Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said the group is cautious about the opportunities in the year ahead, but remains committed to developing an outdoor theme park that has been bogged down by legal issues.
In the group’s annual report, published on Monday, Lim said the uncertainties about the macroeconomic environment and challenges from Malaysia’s new fiscal environment following tax and casino fee hikes in last year’s budget, will begin to bite from this year.
“In view of the severity of the announced increases in casino duties, the group will continue reviewing and managing its cost structure,” Lim wrote. “This includes reducing or delaying capital expenditures and the implementation of various cost rationalisation initiatives such as manpower optimisation.”
He also said the group will focus on marketing strategies and the use of yield management systems and analytics to improve performance.
The budget included a 10 percentage point increase in tax to 35 percent of gross gambling revenue, as well as hikes in annual license fees and dealer licenses. The increases were much higher than had been expected.
Commenting on an outdoor theme park that the group had been developing with Twentieth Century Fox before the U.S. company pulled out last year, Lim said it remained committed to the project.
“The development plans and options for the outdoor theme park are being reviewed amid ongoing legal proceedings.”