Crown Resorts suffers record six-month loss due to COVID-19 closures

Crown Resorts suffers record six-month loss due to COVID-19 closures

Crown Resorts Limited, Australia's largest gaming & entertainment group, has confirmed that it suffered a hefty loss due to a steep decline in revenue during the six months to the end of December 2020. The Sydney-listed gaming giant said it suffered an overall loss of around $93.5 million during the July through December period of last year. The figure represents a decline of 155 per cent in half-year earnings as compared from the corresponding period of the previous year. The loss was accompanied by an analogous 62.1 per cent fall in aggregated revenues to around $449.4 million.

The company blamed COVID-19 pandemic for the decline in its revenue as the deadly disease forced the company to keep its gaming facilities closed for months. All of the company’s venues were at some point closed but they had to account for an immediate after-tax cost of around $44.9 million. The company’s Crown Melbourne facility suffered a decline of 90.5 per cent in six-month receipts to around $75.2 million, while Crown Perth copped a less drastic 5.3 per cent diminution to around $316.8 million.

Alan McGregor, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Crown Resorts, “Our first-half results reflect the severe impact on operations from the coronavirus pandemic. We expect settlement of the apartment sales to occur progressively from March through the balance of the calendar year, which will help to substantially de-lever our balance sheet.”

The company’s half-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation & amortization (EBITDA) slipped 99 per cent year-on-year to roughly $3.4 million as its prestigious Crown London Aspinalls gaming property posted a loss of $17.8 million, nearly 510 per cent lower than the $4.3 million profit in the corresponding six-month period of 2019.

The gaming giant also purportedly struggled because of the fact that it has thus far been unable to bring gambling to its new $1.5 billion Crown Sydney Casino Resort. Recently, an official investigation carried out by the New South Wales Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) was concluded with the ruling that Crown Resorts Limited is not fit to hold a gaming license in Sydney.

Meanwhile, Crown Resorts’ new Executive Chairman Helen Coonan has had her annual pay package inflated to just shy of $2 million. The increase reportedly came as a result of the former Australian Senator agreeing to replace Ken Barton as boss of the gaming giant.