CAI sees revenue drop in H1 as Covid-19 continues to hit performance

| By Robin Harrison
Casinos Austria International reported a 41.8% year-on-year decline in pro-rata revenue for the first half of 2021, with many of its properties remaining shuttered for large parts of the six month period.

Pro-rata revenue for the six months to 30 June fell to €42.0m (£36.1m/$49.8m), which declined to €17.8m – down 66.3% – after International Financial Reporting Standards adjustments. 

This was down to its properties being closed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic for much of the period. In the first quarter, for example, only its venues in Australia, Egypt and Macedonia were open, with guests subject to restrictions. 

Its Swiss properties in Bern and Lugano, and its Liechtenstein casino, followed in April, then its Danish business and gaming halls in Niedersachsen from May. It was not until June that its properties in the Belgian capital Brussels and another Swiss venue, in St Mortiz, reopened. 

In most cases, CAI noted, capacity limits remain in place, and guests are still required to wear masks. 

This disruption did see gaming duties and other taxes drop significantly. It paid out €9.9m in the first half, compared to €24.4m for the prior year, leaving net gaming revenue of €7.9m, a 72.3% decline.

CAI reported a further €5.6m in additional income, while staff costs declined to €12.7m. The business also incurred €8.9m in depreciation and impairment charges, as well as a further operational impairment expense of €7.4m. 

It also incurred a €294,000 loss from its equity in other businesses, leaving an operating loss of €15.8m, compared to an €8.4m loss in H1 2020. 

This widened to a pre-tax loss of €17.5m, after financial expenses were factored in, though its net loss was reduced slightly by a €1.6m income tax benefit, to €15.9m. This increased to €16.1m, after an additional charge related to discontinued operations was included.

CAI is poised for further international expansion, after it was selected by the Nagasaki prefectural government as its preferred partner for an integrated resort in the Japanese city earlier this month. It has since signed a basic agreement to formalise the selection, which will see Nagasaki compete to serve as one of the three IR sites in Japan.