The chairman of boutique casino operator Donaco International Ltd says that the planned development of an airport with 1.5-million annual passenger capacity near its Aristo International Hotel in Vietnam, “presents a major opportunity” for the casino at Aristo “to attract a significant number of new customers”.
Porntat Amatavivadhana, who holds the post in a non-executive capacity, mentioned the airport in prepared remarks for the Australian Securities Exchange-listed group’s annual general meeting on Friday.
Aristo International is at Lao Cai, near Vietnam’s border with China.
Donaco’s chairman said the Sapa airport project was to help the local economy in that part of Vietnam recover from the business effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Donaco boss said the facility would be built “over the next three to four years in Lao Cai”.
Aristo casino in Vietnam has been open on a limited basis since May 8, 2020, after a prior period of closure, due to the pandemic.
Donaco had said in a late-October update to the Australian bourse, that net revenue at Aristo International in the three months to September 30 had risen sequentially and year-on-year. Such revenue was AUD710,000 (US$516,873), versus AUD360,000 in the quarter to June 30, and AUD200,000 in the quarter to September 30, 2020.
In an update earlier this month, another senior company official, Donaco’s chief executive, had expressed confidence about the outlook for Aristo International, also mentioning that the town of Sapa itself had been a popular destination for tourists prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Star Vegas Resort and Club, Donaco’s flagship casino resort in Poipet, on Cambodia’s border with Thailand, has been closed since April 2021, due to the pandemic.
The Donaco chairman noted in the Friday commentary, that under the group’s current trading conditions, it had a monthly “cash burn rate” of approximately AUD480,000, which was “well in line with the previously targeted range”.
In August, Donaco had reported for the financial year ended June 30, 2021, group earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) that were negative by AUD70,000. But the firm reported positive net revenue of AUD10.3 million.
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