Universal seeks IPO for Tiger, says Manila sales rising

Universal Entertainment said it plans to seek a stock market listing for the company that controls its Okada Manila property within the next two years as it positions for further growth.

In its Q1 results statement, Universal said the listing would be to accelerate growth and to improve the name recognition of Tiger Resorts & Entertainment.

Okada Manila opened at the beginning of 2017 as the largest IR in the Entertainment City zone. The resort has been gradually rolling out new facilities and Universal said in Q2 this year it will open the Maharlika Club, a high-end area and spa targeted at local guests. It will also open more hotel rooms and retail amenities.

In Q1, the casino business had net sales of 8.8 billion yen ($80.1 million) and an operating loss of 1.41 billion yen. Compared with Q4 of last year, sales increased by 1.73 billion yen and the loss decreased by 550 million yen.

“Total sales at Okada Manila have continued to increase and this resort is already profitable in terms of monthly EBITDA,” it said. “Furthermore, there is steady growth in casino sales from the general public.”

Universal said the Entertainment City market was 28 percent higher than the same time last year and it expects “many more years of further growth.”

It said hotel occupancy during the quarter was running at 97 percent.

Junket operators SunCity and Tak Chun begun operating late during the quarter, which Universal said was later than originally planned, but have already begun contributing to growth. It added that the VIP business is expected to grow going forward as a result of the junket additions.

Overall the group posted revenue of 19.54 billion yen in the quarter and an operating loss of 4.36 billion yen. The company changed its financial year to end on Dec. 31st and therefore no year-ago comparisons were provided.

The pachinko and pachislot business had net sales of 10.17 billion yen and a loss of 872 million yen.