Melco Retains Global Commitment Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Melco International anticipates a “very difficult year” for global integrated resort operators, because amid the global coronavirus pandemic, the firm reaffirms its commitment to global expansion.

Japan’s “continues to be a core target” emphasises the company in its full-year financial results for the period ending 31 December 2019, during which sales rose by 10.5% to HK$45bn ($4.69bn) partly due to improved performance in the segment of mass market table games.

Melco International group chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho said of the country’s ongoing efforts to win one of three integrated resort licences up for grabs: “Japan continues to be a core target for us. In September last year, we announced our ‘Yokohama First’ policy as we get our Japan team to plan on bringing to Yokohama the best integrated resort the world has ever seen.

“In December, we submitted our integrated resort proposal to the Yokohama municipal government and we continue to actively engage with the Yokohama officials to illustrate our plans.”

In addition, the organisation is also committed to “helping Cyprus achieve the goal of becoming a year-round business and leisure travel destination,” with its City of Dreams Mediterranean, the nation’s first integrated resort, moving towards completion.

Melco has also carried out a CSR programme with one temporary casino and four satellite entities in operation, but currently shut down due to COVID-19, which will help the government’s efforts to sustainably maintain and enhance the culture of Cyprus.

Ho further added: “We remain committed to becoming a global integrated resort operator as we continue to work extensively outside of Asia. Construction work at City of Dreams Mediterranean, Cyprus’ first integrated casino resort, is making good progress. It is expected to become Europe’s largest premier integrated resort upon completion.”

Reporting good financial results for 2019, during which the firm continued to “solidify its position” in the industry, Melco saw income for the year leap 10.5% to HK$1.8 billion (£ 187.64 million) and adjusted EBITDA grow 15.1% to HK$12.5 billion (£ 1.3 billion).

Ho explained: “In 2019, we took a big step forward in solidifying our position as a pioneer and innovator in premium travel, leisure and entertainment. Our commitment to excellence, desire to push boundaries and ability to set new standards translated to a strong performance across the board last year.

“That was despite the challenging operating environment in 2019, with global economic growth threatened by the Sino-US trade war, while the Asian markets were also impacted by the economic slowdown in China and social unrest in Hong Kong in the second half.”

To finish with a little word of warning for the time ahead: “2020 promises to be a very difficult year for global integrated resort operators. The recent Covid-19 outbreak, along with travel bans, visa restrictions and suspended flights, are poised to hit global tourism and impact the number of visitors to all our integrated resorts.

“However, we expect our commitment to developing world-class hospitality and entertainment facilities will put us in a good position to bring the best experience to our guests, and will see us through the challenging times in the near future.”