PANAMA, REPUBLIC OF PANAMA--(March 10, 2011) - Thunderbird Resorts Inc. (FRANKFURT:4TR)(EURONEXT:TBIRD) ("Thunderbird" or "Group") reports the following revenues for February 2011:
|Thunderbird Resorts Inc. – Group-wide sales results by country (unaudited, in thousands)||February 2011||February 2010||Year-over-year increase/ (decrease)|
|Total Consolidated Revenues||9,812||9,201||6.6%|
Closure of Polish Operations
In 2010, Thunderbird executed on a strategy to improve financial performance by deleveraging through the sale of the Panama casinos and two Peru hotels and by exiting non-performing businesses in Guatemala. To this end, we previously announced:
- The sale of our Panama operations in August 2010, which were used to reduce consolidated Group debt by $46.8 million.
- The sale of the Pardo Hotel in February 2010 and the Carrera Hotel in June 2010, which were used to reduce Peruvian secured debt by $13.6 million.
- The sale of underperforming assets in Guatemala effective December 31, 2010, which have been a drag on 2010 earnings and EBITDA of ($3.8) million and ($0.6) million, respectively.
Continuing with our strategy, we now announce that, effective today, the Group is shutting down its Polish operations. Because our Polish operations had negative EBITDA (estimated ($366,000) in 2010), this closure is expected to be a net positive contributor to Group EBITDA and earnings in 2011. Poland represented less than 2% of the Group's worldwide revenues last year and as of 31 December 2010 our entire investment of $2.0 million had been written off. Thunderbird has advanced approximately $150K USD to support this closure. The operations will be liquidated in accordance with the Polish Commercial Companies Law.
Opening of Casino in Peru
Thunderbird is pleased to announce the opening of the Luxor Casino in the city of San Pedro de Tacna, Peru. Tacna is a city in southern Peru and the regional capital of the Tacna Region. It is located on the border with Chile, inland from the Pacific Ocean and in the valley of the Caplina River. Tacna is a very commercially active city, located only 35 km (22 mi) north of the border with Chile. Today, Tacna is a mostly commercial city with many immigrants from the Puno Region living there. Its economy is based on mercantile activities with the north of Chile (Arica and Iquique). Since it is part of a duty free zone, Tacna has come to rival Arequipa as southern Peru's main business area. The city has one of the largest artifact markets in the world with imports from Japan and China, and traditional Peruvian handicrafts. The Luxor Casino opened with a mix of 10 casino gaming tables and is the only casino located in the province department of Tacna. Thunderbird had been operating the facility in Tacna as a "slot parlor" with 147 slot machines since 2008 and with the addition of these tables will operate as a full casino.
Event Center in the Philippines
We are pleased to announce the opening of a 950 square meter event center at our Thunderbird Resorts – Rizal property in the Philippines. The purpose of the event center is to:
- attract more customers for our casino and hotel facilities by renting the event center and by hosting our own events;
- increase demand for our food and beverage business through event catering and increased property traffic;
- continue to position the property as a recreational venue for the east side of Metro Manila; and
- drive earnings growth because we forecast revenue growth to outpace growth in expenses.
We have also expanded the casino by adding an additional 100 slot machines and 28 table positions. We are awaiting final regulatory approval to open these new gaming positions to the public and expect an announcement on the same in the near future.
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