Riding on the successful opening of Naga2 in November 2017, Cambodian operator Naga Corp the operating force behind NagaWorld, the only casino in the capital of Phnom Phen, has continued its trajectory of growth, smashing the $1bn mark for the first nine months of the year.
The operator said that for the first nine months of 2018 GGR came in at US$1.07bn, marking a 94 per cent jump from the same period last year, with mass market table buy-ins up 57 per cent to $887.6m, EGM) bills-in increasing 22 per cent to $1.6bn and VIP revenue increasing by 128 per cent to $25bn.
The continued increase of VIP business volume of the group in the nine months ended 30 September 2018 was due to the enhanced confidence in the financial strength of the company and hence the increase of business of both properties, being more pronounced in Naga2, where continued customers inflow and demand for more higher table limits are being observed.
The issue of the US$300m senior notes by the company in May 2018 armed the Group with the necessary capital to provide premium players and operators with the confidence that the group has sufficient resources to run its business.
Timothy McNally, Chairman of NagaCorp, said: “This confidence, coupled with the quality of Naga2 have been instrumental in enhancing the Group’s ability to increase its VIP rollings by 128 per cent. Nonetheless, the management of the company continues to adopt a conservative gaming policy, diluting its risks and exposure to the VIP business segment. The increasing number of Macau-based operators bringing in quality players who spend longer hours in the property especially in Naga2 has helped elevating the business volume. Suncity’s physical space and the number of tables will be enlarged and its Naga2 based operation has already been ranked as one of the top operations in the Asia Pacific region since commencing business on 1 March 2018.
“The increasing number of quality players from other parts of South East Asia has also been observed in addition to the traditional large number of Malaysian and other customers from the regions,” he added.
Sustained and accelerated gaming business volume growth was recorded in the nine months ended 30 September 2018 with NagaCorp citing ‘continued political stability of operating environment,’ ‘increasing tourism potential’ and its development of a ‘world class competitive product in the Asia Pacific’ as being the driving factors behind the growth.
Most notably, the opening of Naga2 in November 2017 significantly increased the appeal, capacity, quality, range and reach of VIP, Mass Gaming and Non-Gaming offerings, such as up-market gaming and supportive entertainment facilities and equally attractive non-gaming products/facilities including spa, theater, shopping, competitive rooms and food and beverage offerings, providing the group with a competitive casino resort product comparable to integrated resorts in other established gaming destinations in the region and positioning Naga2 as a transformative competitive integrated resort in Asia.
The conclusion of the Cambodian general election held on 29 July 2018 has resulted in the ruling party, the Cambodian People’s Party winning all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of winning 76 per centof all votes followed by the official and smooth formation of the new Royal Government of Cambodia of the 6th Mandate on September 6 2018.
Mr. McNally said: “Given the continued political stability, the group is confident to continue to enjoy long-term win-win private public participating programs and initiatives to further fuel the growth of tourism potential in the country.”
A focus from the company’s management on delivering higher and sustainable growth has also contributed to the group’s success. In March 2018, the company announced that Philip Lee Wai Tuck, formerly the Chief Financial Officer, had been promoted and designated as the Executive Deputy Chairman to strengthen the strategic directions and growth of the Company. Mr. Tan Sean Czoon was promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer.
Mr. McNally said: “This change has enhanced the management focus and allocation of time on certain strategic initiatives, especially on strategies focusing on foray into the VIP market, while ensuring continued financial discipline and accountability to meet with higher aspiration and further growth of the company.”
Visitation and in-bound tourism to Cambodia continues to grow. Total international tourist arrivals increased by 11.1 per cent to 3,455,716 visitors in the first seven months of 2018. Of the top 10 markets, China was the highest at 31.7 per cent, followed by Vietnam at 13.2 per cent, Lao at 6.5 per cent and Korea at 5.5 per cent. Arrivals via Phnom Penh International Airport increased by 35.4 per cent to 1,075,119 visitors in the first seven months of 2018. Visitors from China increased by 72.6 per cent to 1,095,669 visitors in the first seven months of 2018.