Border casino operator Donaco International Ltd slipped to a nearly AUD16.7-million (US$11.5-million) loss in the financial year to June 30, compared to a profit of AUD24.9 million in the prior 12 months. The latest result coincided with its main asset, DNA Star Vegas (pictured), a gaming resort in Poipet, Cambodia, being shut for almost the entire reporting period as a Covid-19 countermeasure.
DNA Star Vegas, on the border with Thailand, closed in April 2021 and only reopened in mid-June this year.
But Donaco’s other asset, Aristo International Hotel and associated casino at Lo Cai, on Vietnam’s border with China, had been running on a limited basis since May 2020, and had switched to attracting “clientele from the local region,” said the firm in its results filed on Tuesday to the Australian Securities Exchange.
DNA Star Vegas’ revenue in the latest financial year was AUD1.0 million, down 89.5 percent on the prior financial year. Net gaming revenue amounted to AUD0.8 million.
The property’s earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation – excluding non-recurring items – was a negative AUD1.5 million, versus positive EBITDA of AUD4.2 million on the prior year.
It had an average of 835 visitors per day, compared to 271 per day in financial year 2021. The “recovering average daily headcount” was associated with the fact “the land border between Cambodia and Thailand has now reopened,” said the firm.
Aristo’s total revenue for the year to June 30 was AUD1.5 million, up 23.9 percent year-on-year. The property’s net gaming revenue was AUD1.2 million.
Its EBITDA loss – excluding non-recurring items – narrowed to AUD0.2 million, from AUD0.9 million.
The average number of visitors per day at the Vietnam resort was 12, compared to 13 per day in the prior financial year.
On a group-wide basis in the year to June 30, Donaco’s revenue was just over AUD2.4 million, down 76.4 percent year-on-year.
The group’s EBITDA loss widened to AUD4.4 million, versus a loss of just under AUD0.1 million in the prior 12 months.
“Operations at Star Vegas have recommenced on a limited scale, with Donaco positioned to progressively advance towards full operational capabilities over the coming months,” stated the company.
The group said it had continued a “prudent cost control strategy, with a reduction in cash burn in line with the targeted range.”
This led to financial year operating expenses and corporate costs respectively reduced to AUD4.1 million, from AUD6.9 million; and AUD2.7 million, from AUD3.5 million the year before, said Donaco.
On the back of the delayed reopening of Star Vegas, and “to continue to guarantee the healthy position of the business”, the board has approved a circa AUD7 million loan facility from Lee Bug Huy, chief executive and executive director of Donaco.
Donaco said it maintained a “healthy cash balance” of AUD6.1 million of June 30.
During the reporting period, Donaco had fully repaid a loan to Mega International Commercial Bank Co Ltd, known as Mega Bank.
The remaining amount of approximatedly AUD9.4 million, from the initial loan facility of AUD131.54 million, had been settled in December 2021.
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