By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
BLOOMBERRY Resorts Corp. looks to start construction on its casino project in Quezon City by 2019, as it targets the mass market in the north.
“We are on track to develop our Quezon City property by early 2022, with construction set to begin in mid-2019,” Bloomberry Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Enrique K. Razon, Jr. said in a speech during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Parañaque City yesterday.
The listed owner and operator of Solaire Resorts and Casino purchased a 15,676 square meter property in Quezon City through subsidiary Sureste Properties, Inc. in 2014.
Bloomberry’s property sits within Ayala Land, Inc.’s 29-hectare mixed-use estate called Vertis North, which will also house residential, office, retail, and hospitality developments.
The company was not immediately able to develop the project due to the presence of informal settlers in the area.
Mr. Razon said Bloomberry already has in-house designers, engineering consultants, and architects working on the project. They expect to finalize the casino design by January next year.
“(It’s a) smaller property so high rise… Probably the same gaming space but not the same layout,” Mr. Razon said.
Meanwhile, Bloomberry disclosed on Monday that it has completed the acquisition of the 16 hectares of land from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) where Solaire and its expansion area are located. The company said it has fully paid PAGCOR P37.33 billion for the property.
“This now places us on equal footing with other IRs (integrated resorts) who own their land,” Mr. Razon said.
The Bloomberry chief is looking forward to a banner year this 2018, banking on the growth of the country’s tourism industry.
“We foresee that tourism will continue to play a significant role in the growth of Philippine IRs. Growth will likewise be boosted by the rise in middle-class incomes and increasing connectivity across the region,” Mr. Razon said.
Aside from the tourism industry, Bloomberry also benefited from the increased access to Solaire through the NAIAX Skyway, alongside increased flights from China which are now at 32 flights daily.
Bloomberry reported a 73% jump in net income attributable to equity holders of the parent to P3.7 billion in the first quarter of 2018, following revenues of P11.51 billion, 34% higher year on year. The company noted this was a record performance for a single quarter.
The profit growth was supported by a 28% increase in gross gaming revenues to P13.75 billion for the period, driven by higher VIP hold rates and strong mass table drops and electronic gaming machine coin-ins.
Asked whether the company can sustain this performance for the year, Mr. Razon said, “we hope that’s the trend.”
Shares in Bloomberry gained 50 centavos or 4.84% to close at P10.82 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday.