Pent-up demand key for Mohegan as COVID impacts bring Q1 declines

Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment has asserted confidence in its, and the wider industry’s, ongoing recovery efforts, despite a series of COVID-impacted financial decreases felt in the group’s latest financial report.

Revenue during the group’s first fiscal quarter, ending December 31, 2020, saw a decline of 42.2 per cent to $230.8m from $399.1m, driven by a softening of gaming demand as COVID infection rates increased throughout its operating regions, as well as the impact of ongoing closures and reductions in capacity.

Additionally, MGE notes that it was “further impacted” as Mohegan Sun Pocono was temporarily closed for 23 days in December and early January, while MGE Niagara Resorts remained shutdown for the entire quarter. 

However, it is noted that visitation and revenue trends started to improve into the end of the calendar year, with the positive momentum continuing into the current period.

Reductions were felt across all revenue segments, with casino down 34.4 per cent to $173.2m (2019: $264.2m); food and beverage plummeting 78.1 per cent to $11.04m (2019: 50.5m); hotel dropping 40.1 per cent to $16.5m (2019: $27.5m); and retail, entertainment and other declining 47 per cent to $30.01m (2019: 56.6m).

Net loss fell to $26.7m from an income of $9.4m a year earlier, and adjusted EBITDA decreased 42.6 per cent to finish up at $40.4m from 2019’s $75.1m.

Excluding the impact of the closures of Mohegan Sun Pocono and the MGE Niagara Resorts, lower table hold and unfavourable winter weather conditions, net revenues and adjusted EBITDA would have decreased 26.8 per cent and 23.8 per cent, respectively.

“As we move through the early part of 2021, we have an eye on a broader industry recovery and I am confident in MGE’s position to benefit from it,” said Mario Kontomerkos, president and CEO of MGE

“Performance in the fiscal first quarter was challenging as COVID cases climbed substantially in virtually all of our markets, but the pressure we observed on our revenues and profitability largely began to reverse itself in late December with positive momentum observed throughout January, most notably at Mohegan Sun.  

“Despite these challenges, adjusted EBITDA margin at the flagship property grew versus the prior-year quarter, reflecting the permanence of significant cost reduction efforts undertaken over the last year. 

“Subsequent to the end of the quarter, MGE successfully completed its refinancing which extended our nearest maturities, increased our financial flexibility, and provided us with ample liquidity as we move forward.  

“We remain quite positive that our business has been optimised to benefit from what we foresee to be significant pent-up demand for leisure consumption in the months ahead.”