Donaco ready to reopen Cambodia’s Star Vegas as 1Q22 revenues plummet

ASX-listed Donaco International Ltd says it is ready to resume casino operations Star Vegas, located in Poipet near the border with Thailand, as it awaits final approval from the Cambodian government.

Star Vegas has been closed 27 April 2021, with the company reporting on Friday a 91.7% year-on-year decline in net revenues to just AU$230,000 (US$162,000) for the three months to 31 March 2022 – all of it coming from Aristo International Hotel in Vietnam. Adjusted EBITDA also fell to a loss of AU$1.37 million (US$968,000).

However, the company said it retains a bright outlook given the recent relaxation of border restrictions in Thailand which is likely to see visitation return to Poipet in the coming weeks. In particular, it noted that Thailand has reopened to vaccinated tourists from 1 May 2022, with Star Vegas “ready to reopen as Thai borders continue to relax and conditions ameliorate.”

Reiterating Donaco’s plans, non-executive Chairman Paul Porntat said, “The March Quarter has been another challenging period for Donaco [however] we are ready to resume our Star Vegas casino as conditions improve and once we receive the go ahead from Government authorities.

“As we wait for this to happen, we are exploring additional options to protect the balance sheet and guarantee the business remains in a sustainable position until broader conditions improve.

“We remain optimistic about Donaco’s long term future. Vaccination rates have increased, leading to the easing of borders and travel restrictions in the regions we operate. It will take some time before travel patterns return to normal, and we are prepared for when international tourism will steadily resume again.

“We are also optimistic as the construction of Sapa airport in Lao Cai presents a significant opportunity for Aristo to attract a significant number of new customers, with an airport capacity of 1.5 million passengers a year.

“We are almost at the end of this bumpy journey, and as always, I would like to sincerely thank you, our shareholders, for your patience and loyalty.”

Donaco said maintains a cash position of AU$3.5 million (US$2.5 million) as of 31 March 2022, having recently repaid in full a AU$131.5 million (US$93 million) loan with its main lender, Mega Bank International Commercial Bank Co Ltd.


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