Australian casino operator Star Entertainment Group Ltd. saw its full-year net profit after tax rose to 14.9 percent, thanks to record-high revenue from its wealthy Asian visitors.
In a filing, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed company reported that its net profit totaled AUD194.4 million (USD148.13 million) for the full year ending June 30, while total earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) increased by 7.5 percent year-on-year to AUD488.8 million.
Gross revenue was also up by 4.4 percent year-on-year to AUD2.36 billion. The company said it recorded “good growth” across its Australian gaming business, with gaming revenue increasing 6.8 percent year-on-year to AUS1.51 billion.
Star chalked up the good numbers to “a combination of improved marketing, loyalty program, sales activity, product offering and stronger macro-economic conditions.” Aside from The Star Sydney, the casino operator also owns and operates TJupiters Gold Coast and the Treasury Casino in Brisbane.
Turnover from the firm’s “international VIP” unit across its three properties netted Star Entertainment a 7 percent jump to a record AUD49.5 billion. The casino operator sells tourist packages to high rollers in China and elsewhere in Asia as part of its international VIP rebate business, although Star pointed out that the win rate among VIP gamblers was “higher than usual.”
International VIP gambling gross revenue was up by 1.3 percent to AUD596 million, the firm said.
CEO Matt Bekier told The Australian that the VIP customer’s profile was changing, and it’s something that The Star has witnessed over the Chinese New Year.
Bekier said Chinese holidays would typically see “whales” visiting Sydney to gamble. But now, “instead of there being three players at $35 million each, we would see 100 players at $1 million each.”
Star Entertainment has been very vocal in its plans to target Chinese customers and other tourists from Asia, capitalizing on the exodus of Chinese big spenders as Beijing continues its crackdown in Macau.
For its part, Star Entertainment Group is planning to build a $3 billion casino resort, featuring a 1,100-room premium hotel, residential apartments and a casino, among other facilities. The project, which is still subject to planning approvals, will be named The Star and is expected to open in 2022.