Asian casino operator Donaco International Limited has announced that it has no intention of selling its gambling-friendly Aristo International Hotel venue despite a recent coronavirus-related downturn in business.
The Sydney-listed firm has been responsible for the 428-room property in northern Vietnam since 2014 to offer local gambling aficionados the chance to enjoy a selection of up to 300 slots as well as some 40 gaming tables. However, the venue located less than three miles from Vietnam’s border with China was completely closed for a 22-day period in April owing to the coronavirus pandemic and has since been only partially re-opened under a strict set of new social distancing and public health protocols.
Donaco International Limited used an official February 26 statement (pdf) to explain that this subsequent state of affairs led its aggregated revenues for the six months to the end of December to fall by almost 84.6% year-on-year to $4.8 million as its associated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization tumbled by some 98.5% to about $153,370.
Despite this slump and the operator detailed that its operating expenses for the six-month period had actually improved by 83% year-on-year to around $3.1 million as its corporate costs recovered by 2% to roughly $1.5 million. It moreover stated that this had come following the implementation of a ‘proactive cost control strategy’ that had allowed it to reduce its outstanding debt with Mega International Commercial Bank Company Limited by approximately 56% to $5.9 million while raising in the region of $11 million to retain a ‘robust cash at bank and deposit position’ of about $9.7 million.
With all of this positivity and the Chief Executive Officer for Donaco International Limited, Lee Bug Huy, proclaimed that his firm is ‘now ready to move forward once the coronavirus situation improves’ and is maintaining an optimistic long-term outlook owing to the rising prevalence of those who are being vaccinated against the deadly pandemic. Regarding the Aristo International Hotel and the boss declared that he is ‘not considering selling’ the venue despite the fact that it has recently lost a large slice of its traditional Chinese clientele due to the initiation of stricter border controls.
Read a statement from Lee…
“For us the Aristo International Hotel is a casino with a lot of potential and we are confident that once borders re-open the situation will stabilize. We are not considering selling the Aristo International Hotel at this stage and we would only consider a sale of the casino if it provided superior value for shareholders.”
Donaco International Limited is furthermore responsible for the Star Vegas Resort and Club in western Cambodia with the firm’s Chief Financial Officer, Gordon Lo, reportedly telling G3Newswire that this venue had recorded positive earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the six-month period of about $2.2 million despite ‘operating on a limited basis.’ The source also recounted that this compared with the loss of about $537,000 chalked up by the Aristo International Hotel, which had prompted widespread speculation regarding the possibility of a sale.