Canadian operator Century Casinos enjoyed its best ever second quarter with revenues of $111.1m, an increase of 21 per cent from the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Earnings from the group’s 17 casino operations were $20.8m, an increase of 15 per cent from the three months ended June 30, 2021.
Peter Hoetzinger, Co-Chief Executive Officers of Century Casinos, said: “Our second quarter results continued the streak of record-breaking performances that we have shown throughout last year. We generated record second quarter revenue and record second quarter adjusted EBITDA. We are pleased with the strong contribution from our operations in Canada which have continued to improve after Alberta removed COVID-19 restrictions.”
Century said it benefitted from the ‘geographic diversity’ of its portfolio, with locations in hyperlocal drive-through markets with a loyal customer base that has proven extremely resilient, resilient not only considering the pandemic, but also considering changes in oil price and the CPI.
Mr Hoetzinger explained: “We have high confidence in the underlying trends of our customers’ behavior; it has not changed since we reopened two years ago. Our US operations in Colorado, West Virginia, and Missouri saw an eight per cent revenue decline over Q2 of last year. The main reason for this is the stimulus payments our customers received last year, which greatly supported last year’s results, particularly in Missouri.”
While other Missouri casinos fair better when comparing with last year, a closer look at the Missouri results reveals that Centruy’s properties have done better than most.
“Our Missouri locations were less impacted by COVID restrictions in 2021 because the restrictions ended, or were limited, in late-2020 or early-’21. And with the government stimulus money released also at that time, our casinos saw extraordinary growth last year. Therefore, and as stimulus money was exhausted, our casinos did not carry that record-breaking volumes of last year into this year,” Mr Hoetzinger added.
In Canada, all four operations had a good quarter and came back strongly after the heavy COVID restriction had been lifted. Adjusted EBITDA almost reached 2019 levels.
“We have not seen the full potential yet because after a couple of years of staying home, many people are keen to travel and attend outdoor festivals and events, which were shutdown in the last couple of years,” he added.
Centruy’s casinos in Poland continued to perform well with revenue up 24 per cent and EBITDA 57 per cent over 2019.
With regards to the potential sale of its Polish assets, Mr. Hoetzinger said: “While the results in Poland are consistently strong, it’s difficult to find a buyer right now offering an attractive price because of the war in the Ukraine. Anyway timing as I said is not really the most important issue for us as we have an excellent management team in place at Casinos Poland. And further, there is no need for any CapEx or investment from us, quite the opposite cash is flowing from Poland to us.”
Looking towards future growth, the company is working on expanding both its Missouri operations as already. During the quarter on June 8, the Missouri governor passed and signed Senate Bill 987 into law effectively allowing the company to bring its Toronto riverboat casino on land utilising a non-floating structure. Toronto city is the last remaining riverboat casino on open water in Missouri. The new development will include a newly designed casino with 20 per cent more gaming positions as well as a hotel.
In Nevada, the company has already invested $95m and now owns half of the Nugget Casino’s real estate.
Mr. Hoetzinger said: “As soon as licensing is complete that will be another $100m which we have in escrow already. We are very excited about the Nugget transaction and we see considerable upside once we can operate it. With the Nugget repurchase and existing operation there is long operating history, that means there is no development risk, no risk of construction delays or anything like that, and no risk of cost. We will continue to execute on our business plan by growing organically and by identifying and acquiring promising asset and stable drive through markets in the US.”