Genting Malaysia set to rise as business resumes

Management disclosed that the burn rate in April for Resorts World Genting was RM4 million per day, seven million pounds per month for UK and US$7 million per month for its North American operations.

KUCHING: Analysts are cautiously optimistic on Genting Bhd (Genting) and Genting Malaysia Bhd (Genting Malaysia) as it resumes business today (June 19).

This comes after two of its local resorts, namely Resorts World Langkawi and Resorts World Kijal, have reopened yesterday.

“Outside Malaysia, based on online checking, Genting UK should reopen on July 4, but Resorts World Casino New York and Resorts World Catskill are still closed while Resorts World Birmingham has been re-opened for shopping since June 15 and Resorts World Bimini is taking booking for re-opening on July 1,” observed researchers with Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd (Kenanga Research).

“A near total closure throughout the second quarter of its financial year 2020 (2QFY20) indicates that the upcoming results for Genting Malaysia is expected to be loss-making while together with Resorts World Sentosa which is also closed, this would be equally bad for Genting as well.”

During results conference call, management disclosed that the burn rate in April for Resorts World Genting was RM4 million per day, seven million pounds per month for UK and US$7 million per month for its North American operations.

“As such, operating loss is estimated to be about RM200 million for April alone,” Kenanga Research said. “On the other hand, it was reported that Genting Malaysia is cutting 15 per cent or 3,000 of its workforce, implying that the severity of the impact from the virus-led lockdown.”

Thus, both Genting Malaysia and Genting are likely to see their 2QFY20 in the red as its home turf casino will only operate for 12 days in the quarter.

“The resumption of business is definitely a strong share price catalyst for the sector players as this will help to reduce volatility,” it said.

Hong Leong Investment Bank Bhd (HLIB Research) was positive on the reopening as it was previously wary on the actual opening date given the risk factors of a casino operation during this pandemic.

“Note that enhanced safety measures will be placed in the entire Resorts World Genting, especially in the casinos,” it said in a separate note. “Measures taken would include body temperature checks, mandatory use of face masks, provision of hand sanitisers, limited players per table, regular sanitisation of machines, amongst others.

“To manage costs, the casino will be opened with limited capacity which is lifted on a staggered basis, depending on the customer traffic volume.”

To note, entry into the SkyCasino and Genting Club will be for Genting Rewards members only while public entry into the casino will resume in the near-term. The member-only entry clause should not deter business volume as the member registration process is rather instant.

Instead, business volume would likely be dependent upon the public’s reception towards safety concerns.

HLIB Research believed FY20 will continue to be a challenging year as the duration of the outbreak remains uncertain and we do not discount citizens to continue avoiding crowded places for the time being.

“We keep our forecasts unchanged for now pending further clarity on the public’s reception towards the opening. Nonetheless, we currently expect the potential earnings in the second half of FY20 (2HFY20) to be insufficient to offset the losses in 1HFY20.”

On this, Public Investment Bank Bhd (PublicInvest Research) said it was unlikely for Genting’s performance to return to pre-coronavirus level anytime soon.

“Given these restrictions and possibly the change in consumer behaviour due to fear of contracting the virus, we believe Resorts World Genting is unlikely to operate at its optimal level until a vaccine is found, which could be at least a year away according to scientists.

“In view of the anticipated drop in business volume, the group is reported to be cutting 3,000 jobs, approximately 15 per cent of its total workforce. Although we are projecting strong recovery in FY21F from a net loss in FY20F, earnings are only expected to return to pre-Covid-19 level in FY22F.

“Meanwhile, following rounds of hiccups, the completion and operation of its outdoor theme park remains unclear, though management has guided it will take place by end-2021. We believe Genting Malaysia will continue to incur costs in maintaining the theme park although it is not in operations yet.”

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Lim Li Yin

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