The Chairman of ASX-listed Donaco International Ltd, Paul Porntat Amatavivadhana, said Friday he expects the company to continue its positive momentum in 2023, boosted by increased traffic flow from Thailand into Cambodia and, eventually, China into Vietnam.
Donaco operates two border casinos – Star Vegas located near the Thai border in Poipet, Cambodia and Aristo International near the Chinese border in northern Vietnam.
Both properties were closed for lengthy periods throughout the COVID-19 pandemic although Star Vegas has quickly returned to profitability after reopening in June.
Addressing shareholders at the company’s Annual General Meeting on Friday, Porntat said Donaco remains well placed to continue its recovery into 2023.
“Operations at Star Vegas originally recommenced on a limited scale and methodically ramped up throughout the September 2022 quarter, with a view to achieving full operational capability over the coming quarters,” he said.
“Star Vegas achieved EBITDA of AU$2.2 million (US$1.5 million) in the September 2022 quarter and underpinned our first EBITDA positive quarter since 1H FY21, with this momentum expected to grow as we head into 2023.
“The long-term future for our Aristo operation in Vietnam also looks bright, with the construction of Sapa airport now well underway in Lao Cai, the region where Aristo is located. The airport has a capacity of 1.5 million passengers a year and is expected to be open before 2025, and in conjunction with the Lao Cai Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism recently recognising Aristo as the only 5-star hotel in the region, it presents a major opportunity for our casino to attract a significant number of new customers.
“I am incredibly optimistic about the future path forward for Donaco. We have a healthy balance sheet, a strong operational base, and travel flows between the Thailand/Cambodia and Vietnam/China borders are set to continuously improve.”