Gaming revenue down for Hong Kongs Far East Consortium in FY21

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Hong Kong property development and hotel management giant Far East Consortium has reported a 67.6% decline in revenue from gaming operations to HK$88 million (US$11.3 million) for the year ended 31 March 2021, impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Far East holds a 4.99% stake in Australias Star Entertainment Group and owns European casino operator Trans World Corporation (TWC), acquired in 2018, which operates three casinos in Austria.

According to the companys FY2021 results announcement on Friday, all gaming revenue for the year came via TWC which was heavily impacted by a three-month closure of its Austrian casinos from April to June 2020. Far East recorded nil revenue from its Australian interests after Star Entertainment Group failed to declare a dividend for the year.

Segment profit for FY2021 was HK$9.6 million (US$1.2 million), down from HK$79.2 million (US$10.2 million) in 2020.

The segment didnt impact Far East too heavily with the company recording a profit of HK$543 million (US$70.0 million), up 48.5% on 2020 on reduced costs and despite a 20.2% decline in consolidated revenue to HK$5.9 billion (US$760 million).

Discussing the outlook of its gaming segment, Far East said, The COVID-19 outbreak has been affecting most segments of the global economy for the last 18 months.

The operations of [the companys three casinos in Austria] were either completely closed or allowed only to operate with restrictions such as social distancing and limited opening hours. However, in response to this situation, TWC realized significant cost saving initiatives such as staff reduction and various contract renegotiations and cancellations.

Coupled with the state support programs from the local governments in all three countries where TWC operates, the performance of TWC in FY2021 delivered a positive EBITDA level. Following the reopening in May 2021, the business experienced a sharp rebound and the Group believes the casinos will continue to generate positive results.