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Century Casinos expects larger net loss in Q4

| By Robert Fletcher
Century Casinos has revealed it expects to report an enlarged net loss for the fourth quarter of 2023 despite a forecast increase in revenue.
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Posting preliminary results for Q4, Century said revenue should amount to between $140m (£111m/€130m) and $145m. This would be an increase from $104m in Q4 of 2022, with the midpoint of the range being 37.0% higher year-on-year.

However, higher costs across the business mean net loss is set to increase for the quarter. It is expected to be between $9.8m and $13.6m, compared to $4.0m in Q4 in the previous year.

Century did not go into full detail on revenue performance, but it did pick out several recent developments. 

These include securing new licences for its casinos in Poland that closed late last year but are due to reopen. The Bielsko-Biala casino will reopen this month and the Katowice site in March. Meanwhile, its Wroclaw casino that closed in November will be open again by mid-2024.

Elsewhere, construction projects at its location in Cape Girardeau and Caruthersville, both in Missouri, are on time and budget. A hotel at Cape Girardeau is set to open in April, while a casino and hotel in Caruthersville will follow before the end of the year.

“Transitional” 2024 at Century

Looking ahead, co-chief executives Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger are positive about the year ahead. They say 2024 will be a “transitional” for Century ahead of expected growth in 2025.

“We expect 2024 to be a transitional year for the company as we continue to integrate the Nugget and Rocky Gap operations into our portfolio and complete our two large construction projects in Missouri,” Haitzmann and Hoetzinger said.

“It is estimated our company-wide capital expenditures, excluding the Caruthersville project that we are financing through Vici, to be approximately $46m in 2024. 

“We look forward to 2025, when we can see everything we are working towards in 2023 and 2024 coming to fruition without the disruptions we are currently experiencing.”

Higher spending hits bottom line

Looking at the other figures and the three months to 31 December 2023, costs will be higher across several areas.

Interest expense should be between $24.5m and $25.5m, in contrast to the $17.0m posted in 2022. Elsewhere, depreciation and amortisation could be as high as $12.0m, up from $6.8m.

Tax is set to be between $3.0m and $5.0m, whereas in 2022 Century received a $500,000 tax benefit. 

However, despite rising costs and an expected higher net loss, there is good news in terms of adjusted EBITDAR. This is forecast to be between $24.0m and $26.0m, compared to $21.7m in Q4 of 2022.

“We feel comfortable with our cash position and capex plan and we continue to look for every opportunity to reduce operating costs going forward to maximise earnings and cash flow,” Haitzmann and Hoetzinger said.

“In addition, we are evaluating ways to reduce our non-operating costs going forward.”

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