New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment Group has reported a 15.4% decline in revenue to NZ$951.9 million and a 33.7% fall in profit to NZ$156.1 million in the 12 months to 30 June 2021, impacted by ongoing COVID-19 disruptions.
The release of SkyCity’s FY21 results comes with the company’s New Zealand casinos in Auckland, Hamilton and Queenstown currently closed due to a growing outbreak of COVID spreading across the country, including 41 new cases announced Tuesday.
EBITDA for the period fell 8.9% year-on-year to NZ$317.3 million, with the company declaring a dividend of NZ$0.07.
CEO Michael Ahearne said the results were positive given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the disruption to its international business – including a decision to cease working with junket operators in response to recent inquiries into Australian casino giant Crown Resorts.
“Local gaming has performed well when open and operating without restrictions, while our tourism-related businesses including hotels, food and beverage, attractions and International Business had weaker results primarily due to ongoing international and domestic (Australian) border closures,” Ahearne said.
“COVID-19 has continued to significantly impact the business and operations at each of SkyCity’s properties in FY21. Government mandated lockdowns in New Zealand and South Australia resulted in the closure of SkyCity Auckland for 29 days and SkyCity Adelaide for 4 days. When permitted to reopen, the properties have initially operated under significant constraints due to restrictions on mass gatherings and physical distancing requirements.
“Going forward SkyCity’s strategic plan is focused on our core business, executing our major projects, continuing to navigate the business through COVID, delivering on the omnichannel opportunity and the efficient allocation of capital.”
On the decision to cease dealing with junkets, Ahearne said the company will look instead to operate its international division – which in FY19 had driven turnover of NZ$14.1 billion – under a “revised operating model where SkyCity will deal directly with patrons after appropriate ‘know your customer’ and customer financial due diligence requirements are satisfied.
“Minimising harm to customers remains a key focus and we have made a number of investments in people and technology (such as facial recognition and specialised customer screening tools) over the past year to keep our customers safe,” Ahearne said.
“SkyCity is committed to ensuring that it provides safe and responsible experiences and environments and places significant importance on its host responsibility and AML obligations.”
SkyCity also reported revenue of NZ$7.5 million from its online gaming business, SkyCity Online Casino, which has seen the number of active customers increase from 24,400 in mid-February to 38,000 in April and 45,000 as of 30 June 2021.