Imperial Pacific H1 loss balloons, to focus on Saipan

    Hong Kong-listed Imperial Pacific International Holdings said its first-half loss ballooned on startup costs from its casino business on Saipan island and on falling prices and higher costs for its foods business in China.
    The loss attributable to owners of the company was about $19.6 million ($2.5 million) compared with $1.89 million in the same period a year ago. The basic loss per share was $0.25 compared with $0.02. The company had warned earlier this month that it expected its loss to widen.
    Revenue rose 15.4 percent to about $293.2 million. The company in March completed its purchase of Excel Earth, which gives it access to 5 percent of the distributable profit of Macau gambling venture Hang Seng Sociedade Unipessoal Limitada.
    In the first-half, the company said its share of accrued revenue was about $11.83 million.
    Going forward it expects to receive a secured and guaranteed annual income of HK$25 million on average from the Macau business with substantial upside potential over a period of 16 years. The applicable guaranteed profit share for the year ending 2014 is HK$24 million.
    The company said it plans to focus on developing its Saipan casino and gaming businesses and may seek buyers for its poorly performing food units. Imperial Pacific is currently looking for suitable land for its $2 billion Saipan resort and said it may also consider raising further funds to develop the property, which will be the first casino on the island.
    The license is valid for 25 years with an option to extend for a further 15 years. It will pay an annual fee of $15 million, with the charge to be adjusted every five years.