Gaming and entertainment company Melco Crown Entertainment returned to profit for the year ended December 31, 2011. The company had an eventful year and the management delivered impressive operational improvements, while successfully executing on a range of strategically important milestones for the group. These included the dual-listing of the shares by way of introduction on the main board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the completion of the acquisition of a 60 per cent equity interest in Studio City International Holdings (formerly known as Cyber One Agents), the developer of Studio City. Last year, the company achieved an 88.1 per cent year-on-year growth in adjusted earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation, to US$809.4 million, and a 45 per cent increase in net revenues to US$3.83 billion. Net profit attributable to shareholders was US$294.7 million for the reporting period, as compared with a net loss of US$10.5 million for 2010. Melco Crown says that the basic net income per share was 0.184 US cents for the year. Lawrence Ho, co-chairman and CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment, says that the substantial improvements in underlying profitability, driven by strong top-line growth and meaningful operating leverage, are indicative of the success of the management's core focus on driving the mass-market operations, which it believes will continue to underpin the company's future profitability and cash flow. 'During the past year, we have expanded our rolling-chip volume and mass-market table games drop and improved our mass-market table games hold percentages, while increasing the contribution from our unique entertainment offerings and other non-gaming amenities, such as our hotels, food and beverage and retail segments,' Ho says. As a result of the strong focus and commitment to the premium mass-market business at City of Dreams, the company has turned this important segment into one of its key competitive advantages, enabling Melco to capture and leverage a loyal and more profitable customer base. In addition to driving top-line growth, Melco has maintained the strict company-wide cost-control focus, ensuring that it maximises cash flow and long-term profitability. 'Moreover, we have taken steps during the year to enhance our balance sheet to provide us with additional flexibility to pursue both organic and future development opportunities. We are proud of our achievements in ramping up our operations and have continued to enrich the company's enviable portfolio of world-class entertainment offerings,' Ho says. Last year, Melco opened one of the largest and most exciting clubbing facilities in Asia: Club Cubic at City of Dreams. In February, it opened Hard Rock Cafe at City of Dreams, which, together with The House of Dancing Water and Dragon's Treasure shows, solidifies Melco's reputation as the leading provider of world-class entertainment in the region. Ho also pointed to the opening two new Mocha clubs, Mocha Macau Tower and Mocha Golden Dragon, which further bolsters its significant presence in the slots club market. For the third consecutive year, Altira Macau has been honoured with the Forbes five-star rating for its hotel and spa offerings. Looking ahead, Ho says he is optimistic about the outlook for Macau this year given its robust regulatory framework, together with the continuing structural demand for leisure and gaming in Macau, particularly from the core feeder markets in the mainland and Hong Kong. 'We are particularly excited about the supportive infrastructure development plan for Macau, and specifically the Cotai region, which we believe is well on the way to becoming the epicentre of gaming, leisure and entertainment in Macau,' Ho says. Studio City, with its unique and diversified offerings, will complement the company's portfolio of assets and enlarge its footprint in Macau, while reinforcing Macau's position as the leading leisure and tourism destination in Asia. Internally, Melco has recently implemented a streamlined management structure to unlock synergies between its gaming and non-gaming operations, which it believes will enhance the organisational efficiency and competitiveness in this dynamic market. Ho says he will continue to focus on improving the efficiency of both the gaming and non-gaming operations and ensuring that the company leverages the core assets to drive profitability and generate long- term value for all the shareholders.