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Star reports fall in revenue but returns to profit in 2020-21

| By Marese O'Hagan
Australian land-based operator Star Entertainment Group has reported revenue of AU$1.55bn (£814.4m/€953.3m/US$1.11bn) in its full-year 2020-21 results, for the year ended 30 June, as the business continued to feel the effects of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions.
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This is a fall of 10.9% compared to its full-year 2019-20 results.

Domestic gaming revenue made up a grand majority of the gross revenue, at $1.36bn. This was a rise of 9.6% compared to full-year 2020. International VIP revenue accounted for $9.5m, a significant decrease of 96.7% due to travel restrictions, while non-gaming and other revenue came to $183.8m, another fall of 16.4%.

After accounting for player rebates and commissions, which cost $11.7m, net revenue was $1.54bn, up 3.9% from $1.48bn year-on-year.

Star’s Sydney location made $828.2m, down by 29.1% what what it made throughout 2020. Most of this – $458.1m- was from domestic table games. Slots made up $277.7m, while non-gaming activities generated $77.1m.

Last month, a Star Sydney employee was jailed after running an illegal betting scam in the casino, which resulted in the casino losing $467,000.

The company’s Gold Coast location brought in $381.3m of the total, up by 16.3%. Slots generated the most revenue, at $203.9m, with domestic table revenue following at $100.8m. Non-gaming revenue came to $74.5m.

The Brisbane location generated $347.6m, a rise of 38.1%. Slots brought in $173.8m, while domestic tables and non-gaming activities totaled at $149.5m and $22.8m respectively.

The total gross revenues for each of the regions were affected by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which caused casinos to shut periodically.

Player rebates and commission expense dropped by 95.5% year-on-year to $11.7m

Gaming taxes and levies cost $378.7m, up by 0.3% year-on-year. Operating expenditure was down by 10.5% to $740.0m Taking these two expenses into account, earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to $426.7m. This was an increase of 51.3% year-on-year.

Depreciation and amortisation costs amounting to $210.5m and other costs at $4.4m brought the earings before interest and tax (EBIT) to $211.8m, which was up by 172.6% in comparison to full year 2020.

Other costs, which involved net funding, tax and significant items, totaled $153.9m. This left the total net profit at $57.9m, a substantial increase of $152.7m year-on-year following a $94.8m loss the year before.

Star also reported normalised results, which are results that are adjusted for volatility using an average win rate of 1.25% of turnover.

The normalised gross revenue was reported at $1.56bn, a fall of 20.8% year-on-year. Star’s normalised location results stated that its Sydney location brought in $832.0m, while Gold Coast and Brisbane totaled at $382.0m and $348.0m respectively.

Normalised EBITDA amounted to $430.0m, while EBIT came to $219.0m.

“The Group continued executing its strategy well in the context of the extraordinary COVID-19 related challenges,” said Star 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, and the transformation of our properties into globally competitive entertainment destinations is nearing completion.”

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