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Lim Kok Thay: Genting Singapore's outlook to remain challenging on Covid-19

Lim Kok Thay: Genting Singapore's outlook to remain challenging on Covid-19
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 24): Genting Singapore Ltd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay said the casino and hotel operator expects its business outlook to remain challenging with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as the group moves forward with its planned business expansion in Singapore and Japan.

Genting Singapore, which is an indirect 52.7%-owned subsidiary of Genting Bhd, is excited to move forward with Genting Singapore’s S$4.5 billion (about RM13.81 billion) mega expansion plan known as Resorts World Sentosa 2.0 (RWS 2.0), which is set to transform Genting Singapore’s integrated resort into a centrepiece of Singapore’s tourism sector, Lim said in Genting Singapore’s latest annual report, which was filed with the Singapore bourse today.

"We continue to be engaged in our pursuit of the investment opportunity in Japan. The group will evaluate the conditions of the request-for-proposal (RFP) and the investment environment whilst evaluating whether the conditions meet with our investment criteria.

"While the severity and uncertainty of Covid-19 has adversely affected our financial performance for 2020, we maintain a strong balance sheet that has been strategically built up over many years and this will ensure that we are able to cope with the unpredictability that may persist, and at the same time, continue to pursue growth. 

"The board of directors is pleased to recommend a final dividend payout of 1 cent per share,” he said.

Looking back, Lim said 2020 was marked by the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted many lives and caused major economic upheavals all over the world. 

As global travel came to a standstill, the travel and tourism industry bore the brunt of the travel hiatus, he said.

"With our flagship RWS now primarily dependent only on the domestic Singapore market, our operations and financial performance were severely impacted.

"Due to the severity of the pandemic, RWS suspended all guest offerings including Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and Dolphin Island, as well as hotels and the casino from April 6, 2020 to June 30, 2020, to help contain the spread of the virus. 

"As Singapore progressively reopened in the third quarter of 2020, we welcomed guests back to our key attractions with significantly reduced capacity, placing our focus on health, safety and well-being across the resort. We can be proud of our resilience and embrace of change in order to keep up with the challenging environment and ensure business viability,” he said.

At Bursa Malaysia’s 12:30pm break today, Genting’s share price settled up two sen or 0.39% at RM5.19 for a market capitalisation of about RM19.98 billion.

Genting, which has 3.85 billion issued shares, also owns a 49.5% stake in Genting Malaysia Bhd.

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Genting Singapore chairman Lim Kok Thay's pay for pandemic year doubles to at least S$21.25m