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Suncity Group Holdings Limited reports unaudited interim results for 1H 2021

Russian operations became the Group’s main revenue driver.

Hong Kong – Suncity Group Holdings Limited (“Suncity”, the “Group” or “Company”) (Hong Kong Stock Exchange code: 1383) today reported selected unaudited financial data for the six months ended 30 June 2021. All amounts are expressed in RMB unless otherwise stated.

2021 Unaudited Interim Results Highlights

Suncity: Turnaround to Bottomline Profit Although Non-Cash in Nature

  • 1H Group Total Revenue of RMB148.8 million, up 99% year-on-year
  • 1H Group Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of negative RMB(33.7) million versus approximately negative negative RMB(44.5) million in 1H 2020
  • 1H Group Profit Attributable to Equity Holders of the Company of RMB320.0 million, significant turnaround from Loss Attributable to Equity Holders of the Company of RMB(118.6) million in 1H 2020, though the Profit was non-cash in nature

Group & Segmental Results: Suncity will Focus on Development & Operation of Integrated Resorts Going Forward

  • Suncity completed the sale of the property development & leasing segment in China, with total proceeds of approximately RMB675 million; Suncity will focus on the development and operation of integrated resorts going forward
  • 1H Operations of Integrated Resort in the Russian Federation contributed revenue of approximately RMB107.9 million (1H 2020: Nil)
  • 1H Travel Related Products and Services segment contributed revenue of approximately RMB27.0 million, down 60% year-on-year
  • 1H Hotel and Integrated Resort General Consultancy Services egment revenue of approximately RMB1.3 million, decreased 81% year-on-year
  • 1H Management and Operation of Malls segment revenue of approximately RMB12.6 million (1H 2020: Nil)

Tigre de Cristal: 1H 2021 Adjusted EBITDA Continued Trending Positive While Increased 1.3 Times Sequentially in the Middle of COVID, Thanks to Sustained Local Mass & Slots Businesses

  • 1H Net Revenue from Gaming Operations of HK$122.7 million, up 33% YoY
  • 1H Total Gross Gaming Revenue (“GGR”) of HK$139.1 million, up 9% YoY
  • 1H Adjusted EBITDA of Tigre de Cristal was HK$17.2 million versus negative HK$(22.1) million in 1H 2020, 1H Adjusted EBITDA was also up 131% sequentially versus 2H 2020
  • Average Hotel Occupancy was 44% during weekends and 21% during weekdays in 1H 2021

Hoiana: Ensure Survivability through the COVID Storm

  • 1H Net Revenue was US$6.8 million, up 42% compared to 2H 2020
  • 1H Total GGR of US$13.0 million, up 46% compared to 2H 2020
  • 1H Adjusted EBITDA of negative US$(20.6) million

Balance Sheet: Liquidity Improved with the Sale of Property Development & Leasing Segment in China

  • The Group improved its liquidity position through the sale of the property development & leasing segment in China and generated total proceeds of RMB675 million
  • Bank Balances and Cash of RMB1.9 billion as at 30 June 2021
  • Total Bank and Other Borrowings of approximately RMB965.3 million as at 30 June 2021

Development Updates: Clear Roadmap for Integrated Resort Development in Asia

  • Russia: Tigre de Cristal Phase I upgrade ready, which includes a brand-new Suncity Premium Club, a new hot pot restaurant and a new private club; Phase II minor delays due to COVID, target to be ready in 2023
  • Philippines: Construction works at full steam in Manila; Westside City Project to be ready in 2023
  • Vietnam: Hoiana Phase II and beyond are planning in progress
  • Japan: Moving forward with plans to develop a diving resort in Miyako Islands, Okinawa; and a skiing resort in Niseko, Hokkaido

A LETTER TO SHAREHOLDERS FROM THE CHAIRMAN, MR. CHAU CHEOK WA

Dear fellow Suncity shareholders,

In the past two decades, I have witnessed Asia gaming’s exponential growth, its downturns and its shifts towards leisure and entertainment; but none of these was even faintly comparable to the pandemic now, because borders grinding to a halt is a completely new phenomenon. As you may have expected, our businesses have been impacted by border restrictions. Yet we are also glad to see economic resilience globally, which has given us the confidence that pent-up demand is real and will happen once borders reopen. A big applause to the Central Government, the Russian, the Vietnamese and the Philippines governments and everyone else who play a part in controlling the pandemic to date.

Our core strategy is to preserve cash and liquidity while retaining flexibility to adapt to the challenges brought by the pandemic and changing market conditions. Firstly, we focus on the maximisation of cash flows from our operating properties through continued implementation of cost-reduction and efficiency initiatives; some of which have become permanent savings. In each of our properties, we manage costs carefully without affecting customer experience. Secondly, we will continue to work on creating growth for all our properties so that Tigre de Cristal, Hoiana, and later, Westside City Project will become main growth drivers of the Group. We remain pragmatic and will flexibly adjust the scale and speed of development, prioritising projects with the highest and fastest returns.

For now, let us put the growth story aside and prepare for the worst, as surviving today is a prerequisite for tomorrow. In the first half of 2021, we completed the disposal of the legacy property development and leasing businesses which will generate total proceeds of approximately RMB675 million, so that Suncity can finally focus on integrated resort development, with significantly improved liquidity. In Summit Ascent, Tigre de Cristal has delivered fair results generating a positive-EBTIDA of HK$17.2 million, thanks to solid local mass and slots business. Hoiana has also been running at its lowest cost ever. We are pleased that our stakeholders continue their support towards Hoiana.

The gaming business in Asia may be tough for now, yet, Suncity’s commitment to our vision in the North, South and East of Asia remains steadfast. We have worked diligently during these challenging times to sow the seeds for the best integrated resorts in Asia. In the North, in Tigre de Cristal, both hardware and software are ready – Suncity Premium Club and new F&B options are now all ready, awaiting border reopening. Phase II is on its way too, not to mention that the Integrated Entertainment Zone of the Primorye Region (“IEZ Primorye”) will be the next entertainment destination of its own calibre with nearby openings. In the South, Hoiana is awaiting tourists to experience her beauty along the sandy coast in Central Vietnam. In the East, Westside City Project is constructing in full steam in the Philippines. In Japan, our ski hotel in Niseko and diving hotel in Miyako Islands will offer customers pure Japanese leisure and fun.

Suncity’s synergistic locations in the North, South and East of Asia makes our entertainment accessible to people living in key markets in Asia. Riding on the wave of digitalisation and by mining our data, we know what our guests love best with the Suncity advantage – a propriety network of unparalleled services and fun, only achievable under the Suncity’s umbrella. Our Korean and Japanese customers will love heading to Vladivostok for a weekend break with seafood and vodka within a short two-hour commute. South East Asians may take mini weekend excursions relishing sun, sea and sand in Hoiana. Westside City Project will be well-loved as the trendiest party place in town by socialites. When borders reopen, the picture will be very different from how it is today. The afterlife of the Asian entertainment sector post-COVID awaits, because what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

Currently in Suncity, we are creating the good; and sustaining the bad. If the road ahead of us is hard and rocky, we continue our journey by flowing down like a river; if the environment turns to the extreme chill; we solidify and continue downhill in the form of a glacier. By being ultra-flexible and adaptable in a ferocious business operating environment is in the heart of every Suncity team member. Suncity will always have my full support, be it rainy days, or rainbow days.

Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to our global team, our shareholders, our suppliers, our investment partners and our team members for their patience to grow together with the Group. While pending recovery, we are turning pain into power, and turning power into motivation. I look forward to sharing with you the successes of our Group in the many more half-years ahead.

Mr Chau Cheok Wa
Chairman
Suncity Group Holdings Limited

Market Overview

The gaming industry remained affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in different jurisdictions in the first half of 2021.

Russia

In Russia, the tourism industry was significantly impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of 2021. Total foreign arrivals in Primorsky region in the first quarter of 2021 decreased 71% year-on-year to 19,788[1]. Borders for international tourism remained closed, while electronic visas to Russia were still suspended. Authorities extended tightened COVID-19 countermeasures, including restrictions on mass entertainment events and limiting restaurants’ operating hours. Russia has launched its vaccination programme in December 2020. Mandatory vaccination was introduced in at least 18 regions in the country for high-risk groups as virus cases surged in the first half of 2021. Russian authorities target herd immunity by 1 November 2021.

The Philippines

In the Philippines, international tourism has not resumed yet. Manila’s integrated resorts were required to temporarily suspend all operations in late March 2021 as the country entered another wave of COVID-19. Until late May 2021, the casinos resumed operations at limited capacity. The Philippines’ total GGR in the first half of 2021 was PHP50.9 billion (equivalent to approximately US$1 billion), down 8% year-on-year[2]. Foreign arrivals in January to May of 2021 decreased 97% year-on-year to 46,322[3]. The Philippines government started its COVID-19 vaccination program in March 2021 and targets to have up to 70 million people vaccinated by 2021.

Vietnam

As Vietnam has closed its borders to foreign tourists since late March 2020 to contain the pandemic and implemented strict quarantine protocols. The country closed its borders for international tourism for over a year, and many tourist destinations remained closed. The country has started its COVID-19 vaccination program for high-risk groups in March 2021[4], and targets herd immunity by the end of the first quarter of 2022[4].

Macau

Macau’s total GGR for the first half of 2021 was MOP49.0 billion[5], up 45% year-on-year, but down 67% versus 2019. Total visitor arrivals in the first half of 2021 increased 20% year-on-year to 3.9 million[6], but down 81% versus 2019. The average hotel occupancy rate in Macau in the first half of 2021 was 50%[6], up 23 percentage points year-on-year. As of 30 June 2021, over 34%[7] of Macau residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

[1] Federal Security Service (FSB), Russia

[2] Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation “PAGCOR”

[3] Department of Trade and Industry, Republic of the Philippines

[4] Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam

[5] Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau, Macao SAR

[6] Statistics and Census Service, Macao SAR

[7] Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre , Statistics and Census Service, Macao SAR

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