APE Macau to pursue digital opportunities after HK$23m loss in Covid-hit 2021

Gaming machine supplier Asia Pioneer Entertainment Holdings Limited Macau (APE Macau) has reported a loss of HK$23m (£2.2m/€2.6m) for 2021, prompting chairman Allen Tat Yan Huie to argue the group must pursue digital opportunities.

Revenue came to HK$7.6m (£732,720/€882,546/USD$971,010), a 81.1% drop compared to HK$40.4m generated in 2020, which was itself a steep drop from 2019. This was projected in a profit warning released last week.

Technical sales and distribution of electronic gaming equipment made up HK$5m of the total revenue, while consultancy and technical services made up HK$1.8m. Repair services totaled at HK$651,495 of the revenue.

APE Macau’s smart vending machine business added HK$145,305 to the revenue.

Most of the company’s revenue – HK$6.4m – was generated in Macau. Operations in the Philippines took in HK$1.0m in revenue, while Vietnam, Korea and other countries saw revenue of HK$121,122 in total

Costs of sales came to HK$6.7m, down from HK$27.9m in 2020. This brought the overall gross profit to HK$850,536- a decrease of 92.3% year-on-year.

Operating expenses fell by 10.2% to HK$18.6m. Finance costs also decreased, by 27.5% to HK$85,620. Impairment losses on property, equipment and right-of-use assets hit HK$2.0m, with no comparable figure from 2020.

Other impairment losses, meanwhile, came to HK$1,303 for the year, compared to a loss of HK$22.8m in 2020.

A further loss of HK$3.2m was due to the write-down of inventories. However, the business did make HK$148,407 in other income.

After considering all this, the total loss for the year was HK$23.0m, which was less than the HK$32.0m loss in 2020. There was no income tax expense in 2021

“The group remains somewhat concerned about the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on the operations of its businesses,” said Allen Tat Yan Huie, chairman and executive director of APE Macau. “While the group has taken proactive steps to diversify its businesses, the businesses themselves may be affected by the macro conditions such as border closings and travel restrictions.”

“Therefore, it is imperative that the group should look for opportunities that are more digital in nature; opportunities that are less affected by physical constraints.”

“Once the pandemic resides, we believe that mass gaming will come back to Macau, and our electronic gaming equipment business is well positioned to profit from it.”

Author: Raymond Fleming