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Sharply rising costs hit Laguna profits

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Sharply rising costs hit Laguna profits | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Laguna Resorts & Hotels plc (LRH) saw its net profit drop 21% in the first quarter of 2000, compared with the same period of 1999. The drop, management explained, came mainly as the result of sharp increases in hotel operations and sales costs, and administration expenses. LRH made a profit of 143.6 million baht in the period, compared with 182.4 million baht last year. Total revenues over the three-month period rose from 700.8 million baht in 1999 to 781.9 million baht this year, an increase of 11.6%. According to the company’s letter of explanation of changes in profit submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the increase was due to higher revenue from hotel operations, resulting from a 21% increase in average room charges. Total outgoings, however, rose by 68.1 million baht (15.6%), from 436.6 million baht in 1999 to 504.7 million baht this year. Almost all of the increase came from hotel operating expenses, which rose by 64.2 million baht due to the higher costs of supplies and materials together with previously deferred items of expenditure, such as repairs and maintenance now being performed. Sales and administration costs rose from 15.9 million baht to 40.2 million baht due to a rise in provision for dubious debts on property sales. Total expenses would have been much greater had it not been for reduced losses on foreign exchange and lower interest payments. Seven million baht was saved thanks to lower US dollar loans outstanding and a more stable currency. A further 21 million baht was saved through lower prevailing interest rates and a lower debt principal; at the end of the first quarter of this year, LRH had 538.7 million baht in long-term debt outstanding, compared with 801.8 million baht a year ago. In all, LRH was still able to show a net profit before tax of 280.7 million baht in the first quarter, higher than the 267.8 million baht of the same period last year. Taxes, however, made a big dent in the final earnings – the company paid the taxman 70.5 million baht compared with 30.4 million baht last year. According to the letter to the SET, the 40.1 million baht rise in tax was due to higher taxable incomes in each of the operating units, added to tax losses carried forward from 1999. Lastly, there were payouts totaling 66.6 million baht to minority interests in subsidiaries majority-owned by LRH, indicating that the subsidiaries had a healthy first quarter.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble”

Jack Burton

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Thailand targeting specific Chinese provinces for “tourism bubble” | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Travelwire News

Thailand’s minister of tourism and sports says his ministry will target specific provinces in China in a bid to attract tourists back to the resort island of Phuket as travel restrictions are gradually eased. Pipat Ratchakijprakarn says the ministry will not splash out money launching a tourist campaign all across China but rather target some of the many provinces that have brought Covid-19 under control.

He didn’t specify which provinces, but said Phuket is being eyed to lead the planned “tourism bubbles” comprising Thailand and its selected partners. The primary target is selected Chinese cities and provinces.

“China is the first market with potential, because flying time to Thailand is less than six hours.”

Other markets being discussed include South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and some south east Asian countries.

Before the pandemic, 1 in every 4 foreign visitors to Thailand was Chinese. There were almost 40 million foreign arrivals last year.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers

Jack Burton

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Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Phuket Andaman News

Officials have raided 2 Phuket casinos resulting in 87 people being arrested for allegedly gambling after the island’s provincial police received complaints of gambling dens operating around the clock – a violation of the current Emergency Decree which bans crowds.

The first raid took place at about 3:30 pm and was at a casino in tambon Talat Nua of Muang district. The premises provided parking spaces for motorcycles and up to 30 cars, and was fenced on all sides with metal sheets. Officials arrested 45 gamblers-30 men and 15 women. They also seized 62,420 baht that was placed as wagers and a gold necklace that was 15 grams in weight.

Around the same time, a second team raided another casino tambon Sisunthon of Thalang district in Phuket’s north. It was also fenced with metal sheets and featured an ample amount of parking space. 42 people- 22 men and 20 women- were rounded up with police seizing 64,260 baht in placed wagers.

All have been charged with illegal betting and violating the Emergency Decree which was recently extended through July.

Officials raid 2 Phuket casinos, arresting 87 illegal gamblers | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Business

Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today

Jack Burton

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Phuket’s (in)famous “Soi Bangla” district reopens today | The Thaiger

Today is the official reopening of Phuket’s famous (or infamous) “Soi Bangla” nightlife district, but only about 20% of venues say they’re reopening during this early stage. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration announced yesterday that all night entertainment venues may reopen but must strictly adhere to health guidelines set out to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Dr Taweesilp Visanuyothin, the spokesman for the CCSA, says night entertainment venues, including pubs, bars, karaoke venues and beer gardens will be allowed to open, but only until midnight. Social distancing measures will be strictly enforced, and customers must use the Thai Chana app to check in and out.

The Patong Entertainment Business Association president says only about 20% of the 324 registered members are expected to reopen initially, but he expects more to reopen soon. Among the 22 rules announced last week- to be presented to the CCSA for approval- were that all staff must wear face masks and face shields, but performers may wear face shields only. No bottles are to be served, and all drinks are to be served in glasses. No pool table games (including snooker and billiards) and no dart games are to be allowed.

The number of guests in each venue is to be restricted to cater for social distancing, with at least 2 metres between tables, or partitions must be installed to ensure patrons are seated at least one metre away from each other.

Undercutting the main reason people visit popular venues, the draft rules also call for groups to be limited to 5 people, and for guests to be prohibited from dancing and singing, gathering, shouting, or “wandering around the premises”.

“I have no idea what the rules will be, but we will open anyway. If the full list of 22 rules for pubs, bars and entertainment venues is to be applied, we won’t be able to enforce all the rules, because enforcing all these rules is impossible. But we can follow some of the rules, such as social distancing, wearing masks and checking temperatures.”

Even Patong’s mayor told The Phuket News that she is yet to receive a copy of all the rules to be enforced.

“The next thing to do is follow up with the CCSA about the rules. This is very important for the entertainment industry in Patong. I will help and consider being flexible with the rules for entertainment businesses in Patong, because the rules announced by CCSA are the general rules for many places. But some of these rules are not appropriate for businesses here. We have to apply the right rules and optimise them for businesses in Patong.”

The PEBA president dismissed a few entertainment zones being singled out in other countries as “hotbeds for starting a second wave” of Covid-19 infections.

“I do not care what some people claim is the risk of being in a bar. If the government is genuinely concerned about the risk of Covid-19 spreading, then it is not just about bars, pubs and entertainment venues. The risk of Covid-19 spreading applies anywhere where people are around, not only at bars and pubs.”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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