Australia’s Star Entertainment Group saw its net profit after tax (NPAT) soar by 351% to AU$149 million and revenue rise 5% to AU$1.33 billion in the six months to 31 December 2018, with a high win rate in its International VIP segment enough to overcome lower volume at flagship property The Star in Sydney.
Playing lucky ultimately saw Star Entertainment Group achieve record NPAT as well as record EBITDA of AU$331 million, up 65.9% on the same period in 2017.
That was despite front money in Sydney’s International VIP business falling by 20.0% and turnover by 49.0%. Sydney’s property-wide GGR declined 7.3% year-on-year to AU$802.5 million but would have fallen 15.4% on a normalized basis.
With Star’s Queensland business also playing lucky, the company reported a win rate of 1.62%, its highest in the past five years.
In fact, Queensland – where Star Entertainment Group launched luxury VIP hotel The Darling at Star Gold Coast last March and continues with upgrades to its Gold Coast and Brisbane ventures – was the standout performer during the period with record statutory and normalized gross revenue and EBITDA and all business segments contributing to growth.
GGR increased 31.3% year-on-year to AU$531.2 million and EBITDA 74.0% to AU$160.3 million, aided by International VIP Rebate business win rate of 2.32%. Star Gold Coast enjoyed a 90.9% surge in VIP turnover following the launch of The Darling, while property-wide visitation grew 11.8%.
“1H FY2019 saw further pleasing progress in the execution of our plans,” said Chairman John O’Neill.
“We are delivering continued growth in key segments of our business as well as exhibiting effective management of capital expenditure. Our existing and new customers are responding positively to the newly unveiled attractions which provides optimism for the future.”
Star has declared a dividend of 10.5 cents per share, up 40% year-on-year.