The Macau slowdown and foodcourt closures are among factors behind a projected plunge into the red by Hong Kong listed corporate restaurateur Future Bright.
In a statement to the stock exchange, Future Bright says it expects to report a loss in the order of HK$29.8 million this financial year to December 12. Last year, the group posted a $168.8 million profit.
The downturn in gambling in Macau and a drop in Mainland Chinese tourists has impacted on sales of the group’s Yeng Kee Bakery food souvenir business and of its restaurants in the territory.
In addition to that, its three restaurants and 19 foodcourt counters in Huafa Mall across the border in Zhuhai have been closed while the mall undergoes renovation, leading to a substantial drop in cashflow. The company has also written down the value of some of its investment properties.
Future Bright’s gross operating profit margin this year has fallen from 18.2 per cent in the first quarter to 14.6 per cent in the second, recovering only slightly to 15.1 per cent in the third quarter, to the end of September.
Most of the losses in the restaurant and foodcourt business occurred in the second quarter with a significant recovery noticeable in the third – especially for its Japanese restaurants which achieved $80 million in sales (compared with just $65.2 million in the second quarter).
“The group’s overall performance for the third quarter has been in line with the inflow of visitors to Macau and the slowdown in the Macau Gross Gaming Revenue during the Third Quarter,” the company said.
That period saw 8.097 million visitors enter Macau, some 147,000 fewer than during the same quarter last year.
Macau Gross Gaming Revenue dropped 34.3 per cent, impacting on Future Bright’s high end restaurants.
The company says it is restructuring the Yeng Kee operation, by closing a high rental street shop, opening more kiosks and setting up more consignment arrangements at airports.
Meanwhile, it opened its first Japanese ramen shop under the brand name of Bari Uma in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong in July 2015 and a new Shiki Hot Pot Restaurant at Studio City, Cotai in the end of October 2015.