Australia’s Star Entertainment Group has reported a net loss of AU$74 million (US$53.2 million) in the six months to 31 December 2021, heavily impacted by lengthy property closures and capacity restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
With flagship casino The Star Sydney closed from the start of the Australian financial year on 1 July until 11 October 2021, group-wide gross revenue fell 29% year-on-year to AU$581 million (US$418.0 million) while EBITDA declined 87% to AU$31 million (US$22.3 million).
The results included an 89% decline in VIP gaming to just AU$1.8 million (US$1.3 million), while domestic gaming revenue fell 24.3% to AU$498 million (US$358.3 million). Non-gaming revenue increased slightly to AU$8.5 million (US$6.1 million).
In Sydney, the lengthy closure resulted in a 39.5% fall in total gross revenue to AU$240.3 million (US$172.9 million) and an EBITDA loss of AU$24 million (US$17.3 million) although Star said revenue was up 29% year-on-year in the period after reopening.
The Star Gold Coast saw revenue rise 5.1% year-on-year to AU$180.4 million (US$129.8 million), although EBITDA fell 50.6% to AU$25.8 million (US$18.6 million), while Treasury Brisbane saw gross revenue decline 11.1% to AU$160.6 million (US$115.5 million).
“The Group continued executing its strategy well in the context of the extraordinary COVID-19 related challenges,” said Chairman John O’Neill.
“The fundamental earnings prospects for The Star’s domestic business remain attractive. They are underpinned by valuable long-term licences in compelling locations while the transformation of our properties into globally competitive integrated resorts is nearing completion.”
Star said it had not declared an interim dividend for 1H22.