Australian-listed Southeast Asian casino operator Donaco International Limited has reported an 80.7% decline in revenue to AU$10.32 million in the financial year through 30 June 2021 due to lengthy closures of its casinos in Cambodia and Vietnam.
Strict cost controls around operating expenses managed to keep the company’s EBITDA loss to AU$70,000, while net profit after tax remained healthy at AU$25.18 million thanks to proceeds from a settlement agreement with the Thai vendors of its Star Vegas property in Poipet that was finalized in January.
It proved to be a particularly challenging 12 months for Donaco. Closed for the first few months of the financial year due to COVID-19, Star Vegas reopened on 25 September at limited capacity but was forced to close again from 27 April 2021 following an order from the Cambodian Government.
In Vietnam, Aristo International Hotel has remained open but with limited patronage due to the closure of the nearby border with China, although Donaco said there have been positive recent signs with EBITDA turning positive in July, after the reporting period, to the tune of AU$300,000.
“This hasn’t been an easy year for Donaco,” said non-executive Chairman Porntat Amatavivadhana.
“Historically the majority of our clientele came from overseas travellers. With the international borders closed, and with our casinos closed or running at limited capacity throughout the year, we have had to adapt, as many other businesses have had to do.
“We are confident in Donaco’s ability to bounce back, also highlighted by Aristo turning a positive corner post period end, achieving positive EBITDA for the month of July. The return to positive EBITDA achieved in the first half of the financial year 2021, and Aristo’s recent performance, demonstrate that we have everything in place to bounce back as external conditions improve.”
Donaco has undergone a substantial reformation since 2019, with the Thai vendors who had battled the previous board claiming a sizeable stake in the company and completing a comprehensive board makeover. They also instilled one of their own, Lee Bug Huy, as CEO in September 2020.