Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has booked a 3.4% year-on-year increase in net revenue to AU$2.16 billion in the year ended 30 June 2019, with strong domestic growth helping overcome a downturn in spend by International VIP visitors.
Gross domestic gaming revenue grew 3.6% for the period to AU$1.64 billion, pushing group-wide EBITDA to a 14.1% increase at AU$552.8 million on the back of solid increases at The Star Sydney as well as the company’s Queensland operations on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. They included a 4.0% increase in table games revenue and 3.4% increase in slots revenue in Sydney, while Queensland gained market share.
Star noted that, “Private gaming room performance in both slots and tables continued to outpace main gaming floor growth.”
However, International VIP continued to slow despite a 10% increase in unique visitors in the segment. Star said that front money for the year decreased 7.1% to AU$4.4 billion while turnover fell 30.7% to AU$42.4 billion, aided by an improved win rate of 1.38% compared with 1.16% in 2018. Gross revenue from International VIP was AU$364.5 million, down 36.2% from AU$571.4 million 12 months earlier.
“Over FY19, the Group completed a further year executing its growth strategy, with major projects at Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, The Star Gold Coast and The Star Sydney proceeding to plan,” said Chairman John O’Neill. “Record domestic revenues and earnings, reflecting continued positive reception by existing customers to recently delivered assets, have not offset declines in our International VIP Rebate business, which was impacted by weaker market conditions.”
Managing Director and CEO Matt Bekier added that Star “remains focused on executing our long-standing strategy of investing to drive visitation and earnings to our network of properties located in sought-after destinations. The expansion and upgrades of our properties are being executed to plan through a partnership approach that enables capital-efficient and de-risked growth.”
The Star Entertainment Group board has declared a final dividend of 10.0 cents per share for the second half of FY19.