Russian Operations Became the Group’s Main Revenue Driver
Successfully Completed the Sale of the Property Segment in China
Suncity to Focus on Integrated Resorts Going Forward
HONG KONG, Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Suncity Group Holdings Limited ("Suncity", the "Group" or "Company") (Hong Kong Stock Exchange code: 1383) today reported selected unaudited financial data for the six months ended 30 June 2021. All amounts are expressed in RMB unless otherwise stated.
2021 UNAUDITED INTERIM RESULTS HIGHLIGHTS
Suncity: Turnaround to Bottomline Profit Although Non-Cash in Nature
- 1H Group Total Revenue of RMB148.8 million, up 99% year-on-year
- 1H Group Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of negative RMB(33.7) million versus approximately negative negative RMB(44.5) million in 1H 2020
- 1H Group Profit Attributable to Equity Holders of the Company of RMB320.0 million, significant turnaround from Loss Attributable to Equity Holders of the Company of RMB(118.6) million in 1H 2020, though the Profit was non-cash in nature
Group & Segmental Results: Suncity will Focus on Development & Operation of Integrated Resorts Going Forward
- Suncity completed the sale of the property development & leasing segment in China, with total proceeds of approximately RMB675 million; Suncity will focus on the development and operation of integrated resorts going forward
- 1H Operations of Integrated Resort in the Russian Federation contributed revenue of approximately RMB107.9 million (1H 2020: Nil)
- 1H Travel Related Products and Services segment contributed revenue of approximately RMB27.0 million, down 60% year-on-year
- 1H Hotel and Integrated Resort General Consultancy Services egment revenue of approximately RMB1.3 million, decreased 81% year-on-year
- 1H Management and Operation of Malls segment revenue of approximately RMB12.6 million (1H 2020: Nil)
Tigre de Cristal: 1H 2021 Adjusted EBITDA Continued Trending Positive While Increased 1.3 Times Sequentially in the Middle of COVID, Thanks to Sustained Local Mass & Slots Businesses
- 1H Net Revenue from Gaming Operations of HK$122.7 million, up 33% YoY
- 1H Total Gross Gaming Revenue ("GGR") of HK$139.1 million, up 9% YoY
- 1H Adjusted EBITDA of Tigre de Cristal was HK$17.2 million versus negative HK$(22.1) million in 1H 2020, 1H Adjusted EBITDA was also up 131% sequentially versus 2H 2020
- Average Hotel Occupancy was 44% during weekends and 21% during weekdays in 1H 2021
Hoiana: Ensure Survivability through the COVID Storm
- 1H Net Revenue was US$6.8 million, up 42% compared to 2H 2020
- 1H Total GGR of US$13.0 million, up 46% compared to 2H 2020
- 1H Adjusted EBITDA of negative US$(20.6) million
Balance Sheet: Liquidity Improved with the Sale of Property Development & Leasing Segment in China
- The Group improved its liquidity position through the sale of the property development & leasing segment in China and generated total proceeds of RMB675 million
- Bank Balances and Cash of RMB1.9 billion as at 30 June 2021
- Total Bank and Other Borrowings of approximately RMB965.3 million as at 30 June 2021
Development Updates: Clear Roadmap for Integrated Resort Development in Asia
- Russia: Tigre de Cristal Phase I upgrade ready, which includes a brand-new Suncity Premium Club, a new hot pot restaurant and a new private club; Phase II minor delays due to COVID, target to be ready in 2023
- Philippines: Construction works at full steam in Manila; Westside City Project to be ready in 2023
- Vietnam: Hoiana Phase II and beyond are planning in progress
- Japan: Moving forward with plans to develop a diving resort in Miyako Islands, Okinawa; and a skiing resort in Niseko, Hokkaido
A LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS FROM THE CHAIRMAN, MR. CHAU CHEOK WA
Dear fellow Suncity shareholders,
In the past two decades, I have witnessed Asia gaming’s exponential growth, its downturns and its shifts towards leisure and entertainment; but none of these was even faintly comparable to the pandemic now, because borders grinding to a halt is a completely new phenomenon. As you may have expected, our businesses have been impacted by border restrictions. Yet we are also glad to see economic resilience globally, which has given us the confidence that pent-up demand is real and will happen once borders reopen. A big applause to the Central Government, the Russian, the Vietnamese and the Philippines governments and everyone else who play a part in controlling the pandemic to date.
Our core strategy is to preserve cash and liquidity while retaining flexibility to adapt to the challenges brought by the pandemic and changing market conditions. Firstly, we focus on the maximisation of cash flows from our operating properties through continued implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency initiatives; some of which have become permanent savings. In each of our properties, we manage costs carefully without affecting customer experience. Secondly, we will continue to work on creating growth for all our properties so that Tigre de Cristal, Hoiana, and later, Westside City Project will become main growth drivers of the Group. We remain pragmatic and will flexibly adjust the scale and speed of development, prioritising projects with the highest and fastest returns.
For now, let us put the growth story aside and prepare for the worst, as surviving today is a prerequisite for tomorrow. In the first half of 2021, we completed the disposal of the legacy property development and leasing businesses which will generate total proceeds of approximately RMB675 million, so that Suncity can finally focus on integrated resort development, with significantly improved liquidity. In Summit Ascent, Tigre de Cristal has delivered fair results generating a positive-EBTIDA of HK$17.2 million, thanks to solid local mass and slots business. Hoiana has also been running at its lowest cost ever. We are pleased that our stakeholders continue their support towards Hoiana.
The gaming business in Asia may be tough for now, yet, Suncity’s commitment to our vision in the North, South and East of Asia remains steadfast. We have worked diligently during these challenging times to sow the seeds for the best integrated resorts in Asia. In the North, in Tigre de Cristal, both hardware and software are ready – Suncity Premium Club and new F&B options are now all ready, awaiting border reopening. Phase II is on its way too, not to mention that the Integrated Entertainment Zone of the Primorye Region ("IEZ Primorye") will be the next entertainment destination of its own calibre with nearby openings. In the South, Hoiana is awaiting tourists to experience her beauty along the sandy coast in Central Vietnam. In the East, Westside City Project is constructing in full steam in the Philippines. In Japan, our ski hotel in Niseko and diving hotel in Miyako Islands will offer customers pure Japanese leisure and fun.
Suncity’s synergistic locations in the North, South and East of Asia makes our entertainment accessible to people living in key markets in Asia. Riding on the wave of digitalisation and by mining our data, we know what our guests love best with the Suncity advantage – a propriety network of unparalleled services and fun, only achievable under the Suncity’s umbrella. Our Korean and Japanese customers will love heading to Vladivostok for a weekend break with seafood and vodka within a short two-hour commute. South East Asians may take mini weekend excursions relishing sun, sea and sand in Hoiana. Westside City Project will be well-loved as the trendiest party place in town by socialites. When borders reopen, the picture will be very different from how it is today. The afterlife of the Asian entertainment sector post-COVID awaits, because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
Currently in Suncity, we are creating the good; and sustaining the bad. If the road ahead of us is hard and rocky, we continue our journey by flowing down like a river; if the environment turns to the extreme chill; we solidify and continue downhill in the form of a glacier. By being ultra-flexible and adaptable in a ferocious business operating environment is in the heart of every Suncity team member. Suncity will always have my full support, be it rainy days, or rainbow days.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to our global team, our shareholders, our suppliers, our investment partners and our team members for their patience to grow together with the Group. While pending recovery, we are turning pain into power, and turning power into motivation. I look forward to sharing with you the successes of our Group in the many more half-years ahead.
Mr Chau Cheok Wa
Suncity Group Holdings Limited
The gaming industry remained affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in different jurisdictions in the first half of 2021.
In Russia, the tourism industry was significantly impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2021. Total foreign arrivals in Primorsky region in the first quarter of 2021 decreased 71% year-on-year to 19,788. Borders for international tourism remained closed, while electronic visas to Russia were still suspended. Authorities extended tightened COVID-19 countermeasures, including restrictions on mass entertainment events and limiting restaurants’ operating hours. Russia has launched its vaccination programme in December 2020. Mandatory vaccination was introduced in at least 18 regions in the country for high-risk groups as virus cases surged in the first half of 2021. Russian authorities target herd immunity by 1 November 2021.
In the Philippines, international tourism has not resumed yet. Manila’s integrated resorts were required to temporarily suspend all operations in late March 2021 as the country entered another wave of COVID-19. Until late May 2021, the casinos resumed operations at limited capacity. The Philippines’ total GGR in the first half of 2021 was PHP50.9 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1 billion), down 8% year-on-year. Foreign arrivals in January to May of 2021 decreased 97% year-on-year to 46,322. The Philippines government started its COVID-19 vaccination program in March 2021 and targets to have up to 70 million people vaccinated by 2021.
As Vietnam has closed its borders to foreign tourists since late March 2020 to contain the pandemic and implemented strict quarantine protocols. The country closed its borders for international tourism for over a year, and many tourist destinations remained closed. The country has started its COVID-19 vaccination program for high-risk groups in March 2021, and targets herd immunity by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
Macau’s total GGR for the first half of 2021 was MOP49.0 billion, up 45% year-on-year, but down 67% versus 2019. Total visitor arrivals in the first half of 2021 increased 20% year-on-year to 3.9 million, but down 81% versus 2019. The average hotel occupancy rate in Macau in the first half of 2021 was 50%, up 23 percentage points year-on-year. As of 30 June 2021, over 34% of Macau residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
 Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia
 Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation "PAGCOR"
 Department of Trade and Industry, Republic of the Philippines
 Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
 Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macao SAR
 Statistics and Census Service, Macao SAR
 Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre , Statistics and Census Service, Macao SAR
Group Financial Results
The Group recorded a profit attributable to equity holders of the Company of RMB320.0 million for the six months ended 30 June 2021 ("1H 2021"), significantly turnaround from loss attributable to equity holders of the Company of RMB(118.6) million. Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations was approximately negative RMB(33.7) million versus approximately negative RMB(44.5) million for the six months ended 30 June 2020 ("1H 2020").
The profit attributable to equity holders of the Company in 1H 2021 was mainly attributable to (i) the gain on change in fair value of derivative financial instruments of approximately RMB449.4 million; (ii) profit for the period from discontinued operations of approximately RMB147.1 million, including the gain on disposal of the entire equity interest in Access Achievement Limited of approximately RMB167.9 million; and (iii) partially offset by costs and expenses from continuing operations of (a) finance costs of approximately RMB123.1 million; and (b) share of loss of a joint venture of approximately RMB139.9 million.
Revenue from continuing operations in 1H 2021 was approximately RMB148.8 million, increased by approximately RMB74.2 million or 99% when compared to approximately RMB74.6 million in 1H 2020. The increase was mainly attributable to the contribution from Summit Ascent Group for the full six-months period since the acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2020.
i) Operation of integrated resort in the Philippines – No revenue was recognised during the period.
ii) Operation of integrated resort in the Russian Federation – Revenue was approximately RMB107.9 million during 1H 2021.
iii) Travel related products and services – The Group recorded a substantial decrease in revenue from this segment by approximately RMB40.7 million to approximately RMB27.0 million in 1H 2021 (1H 2020: RMB67.7 million).
iv) Hotel and integrated resort general consultancy services – The Group has entered into several technical service agreements and casino management agreement with integrated resorts since 2017, generating revenue of approximately RMB1.3 million in 1H 2021 (1H 2020: RMB6.9 million).
v) Property development – Since there are no units delivered during 1H 2021, no revenue was recognised in 1H 2021.
vi) Management and operation of malls – The revenue for concessionaire sales and provision of retail management and related services from the management and operation of Phase 1 Shopping Mall and Phase 2 Living Mall of Xinguang Tiandi in Zhejiang Province, the PRC was RMB12.6 million. The occupancy rates of Phase 1 Shopping Mall and Phase 2 Living Mall of Xinguang Tiandi as at 30 June 2021 were approximately 88% and 79%, respectively.
Operations of Integrated Resorts
Tigre de Cristal
Tigre de Cristal recorded a positive Adjusted EBITDA of HK$17.2 million in the 1H 2021, versus a negative Adjusted EBITDA of HK$(22.1) million in the 1H 2020.
Net gaming revenue of Tigre de Cristal, which consists of three main sources namely the rolling chip business, mass table business and electronic gaming business, was approximately HK129 million during 1H 2021, increased by approximately HK$33 million or 34% year-on-year comparing to 1H 2020.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no rolling chip activities has been noted in the 1H 2021. Rolling chip volume (measured as the sum of all non-negotiable chips wagered and lost by players) at Tigre de Cristal was approximately HK$1.2 billion in the 1H 2020. Gross win rate percentage (represented the ratio of gross win to rolling chip volume) was approximately 4.2% in the 1H 2020.
Mass table drop (measured as the sum of gaming chips purchased or exchanged at the cages) increased remarkably by 68% to approximately HK$237 million in the 1H 2021, compared to approximately HK$141 million in the 1H 2020. Net win from mass table business increased by 62% to approximately HK$55 million in the 1H 2021, compared to approximately HK$34 million in the 1H 2020. Net win rate percentage (represented net win as a percent of mass table drop) decreased slightly from 24.1% in the 1H 2020 to 23.2% in the 1H 2021.
Electronic gaming volume (measured as the total value of electronic gaming credits wagered by players) was approximately HK$1,563 million in the 1H 2021, increased significantly by 93% compared to approximately HK$810 million in the 1H 2020. The electronic gaming business recorded net win of approximately HK$68 million, increased by 66% compared to approximately HK$41 million in the 1H 2020. The net win rate percentage decreased to 4.4% in the 1H 2021 from 5.1% in the 1H 2020.
Revenue from hotel operations, despite largely dependent on foreign tourists, steadily increased to approximately HK$6.7 million in the 1H 2021 or by 82% compared to the 1H 2020. Average hotel occupancy rates increased to approximately 44% (1H 2020: 15%) during weekends and approximately 21% (1H 2020: 20%) during weekdays in the 1H 2021.
Key Financial Data of Tigre de Cristal
Adjusted EBITDA margin
Rolling Chip Volume
Gross Win Rate %
Mass Table Drop
Net Win Rate %
Electronic Gaming Volume
Net Win Rate %
In 1H 2021, Hoiana’s total net revenue was approximately US$6.8 million. Adjusted EBITDA was approximately US$(20.6) million.
Key Financial Data of Hoiana
Adjusted EBITDA margin
Rolling Chip Volume
Gross Win Rate %
Mass Table Drop
Gross Win Rate %
Electronic Gaming Volume
Gross Win Rate %
(i) The financial results for the 3-days period from 28 June 2020 (the date of commencement of casino operation) to 30 June 2020
(ii) As the financial data of 1H 2020 only comprised of 3-days operation period from 28 June 2020 to 30 June 2020, no Adjusted EBITDA analysis was adopted for 1H 2020.
Tigre de Cristal, Russia
Tigre de Cristal Phase I upgrade has already been completed, pending border reopening. A brand-new Suncity Premium Club, a new authentic hotpot restaurant and a new private club are now ready.
Phase II planning and construction are well underway except minor delays due to COVID-19. When Phase I & II are both running in 2023, Tigre de Cristal will triple in its number of rooms, and double in number in its gaming facilities. Together with other integrated resorts in Primorye, they are going to form a gaming cluster known as the IEZ Primorye.
Westside City Project, Philippines
Construction works are going on at full steam in Westside City Project even though Manila was under lockdown. The construction team on the ground are working around multiple challenges due to the lockdown while they adjust the priority to deliver progress. The foundation works have been completed, cranes are now being erected and the focus is to construct the building upwards. Westside City Project is expected to be ready in 2023.
When all phases of Westside City Project are ready, it will consist of:
- Approximately 300 gaming tables
- Over 1,300 electronic gaming machines
- Over 450 five-star hotel rooms
- Approximately 1,000 car park spaces
- Pool club & leisure club etc.
Westside City Project will be integrated with the shopping malls, theatres, restaurants, and shopping streets, etc. to be built by Suncity’s partner Westside/Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. They will also build additional hotel rooms, a shopping mall, a Grand Opera House, restaurants, a theatre district and an additional of approximately 2,000 car park spaces.
In Hoiana, hotel rooms are being rolled out gradually in Phase I according to demand. Hoiana Shores Golf Club, Hoiana Suncity, Hoiana Hotel & Suites and New World Hoiana Hotel are now operational.
Phase II and beyond are planning in progress. Land plots are now being prepared for development.
Other international locations
The Group plans to develop a diving resort and a skiing resort in Japan, located in Okinawa and in Hokkaido. In Miyako Islands, Okinawa, the Group plans to develop 40 villas and a hotel with more than 100 rooms. In Niseko, Hokkaido, near Grand Hirafu Mountain, the Group plans to develop 50 villas, 20 townhouses and a hotel with over 40 rooms.
The most prevalent uncertainty for now is that we do not know how long the pandemic will last. While near-term earnings may be dampened by border restrictions, on a property-by-property basis, we can identify clear performers with better performance during the pandemic. Tigre de Cristal, our Russian integrated resort with exposure to the local market, has delivered positive-EBITDA merely with mass and slots segments.
From a Group-wide perspective, firstly, focusing on cash flow is the most imperative task at hand in the near term. We are being very pragmatic at cost control without affecting customer experience. In each of our projects, vigorous cost-control and efficiency programmes are put in place. The Group is practical about the speed and the scale of our developments which is why we prioritise projects with the highest returns for investors.
Secondly, we believe that the worst-case scenario of having to mandatory shut down the entire integrated resort for COVID prevention, has already passed. The exposure to local demand in Russia also helps us to recover faster in the near term. Tigre de Cristal’s mass and slots segments delivered credible results even though borders were not yet reopened, thanks to the support of the local Russian gaming patrons. Vladivostok is also blessed as it has access to the Russian-developed vaccine Sputnik-V and Sputnik Light, which signals that as vaccination rates in Russia continue to improve, it will become less likely for mandatory closure to be required again. Meanwhile, our colleagues in Hoiana are using creative ways to generate new sources of revenue, as long as Hoiana is allowed to be opened for business. As long as our doors remain open, the integrated resort with local access will outperform the others that solely rely on tourists.
Thirdly, the hardware for gaming business is now ready to drive volumes. We believe that having a quality product is the key to driving land-based gaming business. Currently, the upgrade in hardware in Tigre de Cristal Phase I including Suncity Premium Club and the latest F&B options have been completed, pending border reopening. Simultaneously, we are creating other growth drivers across Asia. Phase II is coming on board in 2023. Westside City Project, a US$1 billion state-of-the-art integrated resort in the heart of Manila, will become the next stylish icon in the Philippines. Local demand in Russia and the Philippines will not only be able to drive recovery, but will also be key growth drivers for the Group after their openings respectively in 2023.
In addition, the Group is also well-positioned to make the best use of our synergistic network in the North, East and South of Asia. In the North of Asia, IEZ Primorye is on track to become a leisure destination on its own, as recent and would-be openings are going to form a new gaming cluster in the heart of North Asia, similar to Cotai. Nearby North Asian markets, such as South Koreans and Japanese, would be able to access the integrated resort within a reasonable commute. The uncertainty in the development of land-based gaming in Japan has, in fact, posed an untapped opportunity for Vladivostok for the underserved Japanese and Korean gaming markets. In the South, Manila and Hoi An will act as entertainment hubs for the South and the East Asian markets, serving locals and tourists alike. These two integrated resorts will each have their respective themes – Hoiana, a beach side resort; Westside City Project, a chic spot in Manila. In the East, in Japan, the diving resort in Miyako Islands and the skiing resort in Niseko offers pure non-gaming leisure for guests to enjoy Japanese-style exquisite services. The North, South and East Asia strategy offers diverse entertainment under Suncity’s platform where integrated resorts, pure hotels and leisure combine to leverage on the Suncity advantage. In a post-COVID world, the Group will make the best use of our network to offer a multitude of entertainment choices for the South-East Asian, Korean and Japanese markets.
Riding on the digitalisation wave, the Group is also transforming digitally which includes using big data strategies, exploring an all-in-one digitally-transformed integrated resort experience as well as bringing in innovative augmented reality experience in the Group’s entertainment offerings.
Finally, as long as the Group can sustain through the pandemic, Suncity is not far from becoming a renowned Asian gaming name. While the Group remains pragmatic on the speed and scale of development for growth, the faster the funding, the quicker we can develop. The Group also maintains a flexible stance in raising capital, such as selling the legacy real estate segment for cash; as well as selling land plots to secondary developers to speed up future phases. More importantly, as the Group transforms into an integrated resort operator, we will be operating our own mass, premium mass and slots segments because we have control of resources. By using a multi-jurisdiction approach, the Group is also able to diversify our geopolitical risks, deploying capital flexibly to the jurisdiction with the highest and fastest returns.
We remain cautiously optimistic in the Asian gaming sector in the very long term. We are hopeful about the vaccination progress, as we firmly believe that one day, the pandemic will soon be behind us.
SUNCITY GROUP HOLDINGS LIMITED
2020 Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 6 – Alvin Chau
Inside Asian Gaming
Number 1 in Gaming & Lodging Sector & "Most Honored Company"
Best ESG, Ranked 1st Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best Investor Relations Company, Ranked 1st Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best CEO, Andrew Lo, Ranked 1st Sell-side
Best CFO, Ranked 1st Sell-side
Best Investor Relations Professional, Ranked 1st Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best Investor Relations Team, Ranked 1st Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
(All-Asia Executive 2021)
SUMMIT ASCENT HOLDINGS LIMITED
Best ESG, Ranked 3rd Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best CEO, Andrew Lo, Ranked 3rd Sell-side
Best CFO, Ranked 3rd Sell-side
Best Investor Relations Company, Ranked 3rd Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best Investor Relations Professional, Ranked 2nd Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
Best Investor Relations Team, Ranked 3rd Buy-side & Sell-side Combined
(All-Asia Executive 2021)
TIGRE DE CRISTAL, RUSSIA
Corporate Travel Awards 2020 (Hotel Resort of the Year)
CEO Today Magazine
Winner of the XVI Business Prize of Primorsky Krai (Company of the Year 2019)
Top 5 nominees of "Russia’s Leading Resort 2019"
World Travel Awards
2021 Asia’s Top 100 Golf Courses
2021 Xing Ding Capital Asia’s Top 100 Golf Courses Rankings
Best Integrated Resort of the Year – Best of the Best Awards 2020
Asia’s Leading Tourism Development Project 2020
World Travel Awards
Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2020
World’s Best New Golf Course 2020
World Golf Awards
GEO Certified® Development status (Hoiana Shores is the first and only golf property in Asia-Pacific to achieve this designation, and one of only half a dozen worldwide)
Scotland-based GEO Foundation
About Suncity Group Holdings Limited (HKEx stock code: 1383)
Suncity Group Holdings Limited ("Suncity" or "the Group") develops and operates integrated resorts across Asia, including the Russia Federation, the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, etc. The Group also operates in the travel segment and the mall operation segment.
Suncity is the parent company of Summit Ascent Holdings Limited ("Summit Ascent", HKEx: 102). Summit Ascent is the operator of the largest integrated resort, in the Russian Federation, known as Tigre de Cristal, based in Vladivostock in the Far East. Suncity is also the parent company of Suntrust Home Developers, Inc. ("SunTrust", PSE: SUN), who is developing Westside City Project in the heart of Entertainment City in Manila, the Philippines. Hoiana is an integrated resort that Suncity jointly develops with our investment partners. Located in Central Vietnam, Hoiana Phase 1 is an integrated resort with over 1,000 rooms, award-winning golf course and pristine beaches.
The Group also plans to develop skiing and diving resorts in Okinawa and Hokkaido, in Japan. In addition, the Group operates a travel agency, and shopping malls in China.
For more information about Suncity, please visit https://www.suncitygroup.com.hk/
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