BLOOMBERRY Resorts Corp. (Bloomberry), the listed operator of Solaire Resort & Casino (Solaire), posted a 38% profit drop in the first quarter as measures to counter the coronavirus pandemic led to a decline in tourism and the suspension of gaming activities.

The Razon-led company told the stock exchange on Thursday its consolidated net profit slumped to P1.4 billion from P2.2 billion last year. Total revenues fell 13% to P9.4 billion, as gaming revenues contracted 10% to P12.2 billion.

Solaire had to suspend gaming operations since March 16 in compliance with government regulations to limit the spread of the coronavirus. This resulted in a 19% volume decline at its VIP gaming tables, which posted 21% lower revenues at P4.73 billion. Mass tables and slot machines also recorded 2% lower revenues at P3.93 billion and P3.56 billion, respectively.

Solaire Korea’s Jeju Sun contributed gaming revenues of P93.1 million, down 63% also due to pandemic-related restrictions in South Korea. Suspension of its operations began as early as March 6.

Non-gaming revenue streams of Bloomberry generated P1.7 billion in the first quarter, lower by 10% from a year ago. A decline in hotel occupancy at Solaire at 67.3% from 87.8% in the first quarter of 2019 pulled its revenues down 11% to P1.7 billion.

Jeju Sun’s non-gaming revenues added P17.9 million or 42% higher as its amenities were partially reopened in the first quarter.

Operating expenses fell 7% to P5.8 billion as the company had to pay lower gaming taxes due to lower gaming revenues. It likewise spent less on advertising and promotions during the first quarter.

“We look forward to restart the gaming segment soon after the quarantine is lifted,” Bloomberry Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Enrique K. Razon, Jr. said in a statement.

He noted recovery is expected to be slow as customers and employees would have to adjust to the so-called “new normal.” Nonetheless, the company is laying out a comprehensive plan to maintain a safe working and recreational environment post-quarantine.

“At Solaire, we plan to meet and exceed the acceptable local safety standards. Our stringent regimen of safety measures will be world class examples of the safe re-opening of entertainment venues and of kickstarting the local economy to return the livelihoods of our communities,” Mr. Razon said.

Shares in Bloomberry at the stock exchange picked up 15 centavos or 2.80% to P5.50 apiece on Thursday. — Denise A. Valdez