Analysts cut RWS visitor expectations for 2022

Malaysia reopened its borders to foreign travellers on April 1.
Malaysia reopened its borders to foreign travellers on April 1.

Analysts blamed the Omicron variant of Covid-19 for a drop in the number of visitor arrivals at Resorts World Genting.

Malaysia.- When Malaysia reopened its borders to foreign travellers from April 1, the news was welcomed by Resorts World Genting, the only casino complex in the country. However, a new wave of Covid-19 cases linked to the Omicron variant could dampen expectations.

According to analysts at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd, the expected number of visitors for 2022 is now 21 million, down from the previous forecast of 24 million. As a result, analysts have cut earnings expectations for the casino operator by 40 per cent.

They expect that Resorts World Genting will be able to return to full operations (currently only circa 5,000 of its 10,000 rooms are operating) in 2023, provided there is a significant drop in Covid-19 cases.

Genting Malaysia showed a return to profit of nearly MYR124.1m (US$29.5m) in the fourth quarter of the year 2021 compared to a MYR258.2m loss a year earlier.

For the third quarter of the last year, Genting Malaysia had reported that its net loss had contracted to MYR289m from MYR705m registered in the same quarter in 2020. However, the company saw better results in Q4, recording an 81.5-per cent year-on-year improvement in revenue to MYR1.89bn. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was MYR738.1m.

Full-2021 revenue was down 8.2 per cent year-on-year to MYR4.16bn but adjusted EBITDA more than doubled to MYR727m. Net loss declined by 55.5 per cent to MYR1.05bn.

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