Border-casino operator Donaco International Ltd slipped to a nearly AUD8.9-million (US$6.4 million) after-tax loss in the half-year to December 31, versus a AUD42.5-million profit in the same period a year earlier, the firm said in a Monday filing to the Australian Securities Exchange.
No dividends were paid for the half-year to December 31.
The 2020 interim result had been boosted by a net gain of nearly AUD48.2 million on a non-recurring item relating to settlement of a legal dispute over ownership of Star Vegas Club and Casino (pictured) at Poipet, on Cambodia’s border with Thailand.
The group also runs Aristo International Hotel and its associated casino at Lao Cai, on Vietnam’s border with China.
Donaco has been affected by regional disruption to travel and tourism associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Monday’s results filing affirmed that the Star Vegas casino “has been temporarily closed since 27 April 2021”.
“The board of directors acknowledges that there is significant uncertainty over Donaco’s ability to meet its working capital requirements,” the management said in commentary with the half-year results.
It added: “In the event that Donaco is unable to raise additional capital or debt to meet working capital requirements and/or there is an extended period before the resumption of normal casino operations, then this could have a material impact on the consolidated entity continuing as a going concern.”
The firm nonetheless said it had during the period controlled its monthly “cash burn” at AUD322,000, “well in line with the targeted range”.
Interim casino revenue at Aristo International actually rose 73.5 percent year-on-year, to nearly AUD1.1 million.
Half-year earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) from casino operations at Aristo were positive by AUD230,107, compared to negative EBITDA of AUD686,767 in the prior-year period.
The management said Aristo’s positive EBITDA for the period reflected “Donaco’s pragmatic initiative to shift its focus towards attracting clientele from the local region”.
Star Vegas casino EBITDA was negative by nearly AUD1.2 million, compared to positive EBITDA of nearly AUD2.9 million in the six months to December 31, 2020.
Donaco reiterated that its loan facility with its main lender, Mega International Commercial Bank Co Ltd, had been settled on December 31, with a final US$1.8-million payment.
The casino firm said it had fully repaid borrowings amounting to AUD131.54 million, and paid down USD$6.8 million of debt during the reporting half.
“Despite swiftly paying down a loan facility, Donaco maintained a healthy cash position of AUD4.4 million” as of December 31, added the firm.
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