Improving business trends causes optimism for Golden Entertainment

Stratosphere Golden Entertainment

Golden Entertainment has voiced encouragement at footfall amid easing restrictions, as tightened measures introduced during 2020’s final quarter impacted the group’s overall results for the period.

Asserting confidence that Las Vegas will “benefit from pent up demand,” in addition to the resumption of retail and business travel, the group also praised changes to its cost structure.

For the three month period ending December 31, 2020, the company recorded revenue of $205.6m, which represents a 15 per cent drop from $242.1m.

Net loss for the quarter was $18.5m, compared to a net loss of $7.7m in the corresponding quarter a year earlier, with adjusted EBITDA closing at $38.9m (2019: $43.1m).

Casino revenue was $112.6m in the third quarter of the year, a 25 per cent drop from 2019’s $150.2m, with adjusted EBITDA coming in at $33.4m (2019: $41.7m).

Golden Entertainment’s distributed gaming division saw revenue fractionally increase to $93m (2019: $91.7m), with adjusted EBITDA also marginally up from $13.2m to $13.6m.

Blake Sartini, chairman and CEO of Golden Entertainment, explained: “Our fourth quarter started strong with record October adjusted EBITDA. However, tightened operating restrictions across all our businesses due to the pandemic began in November and extended through December, impacting overall fourth quarter results. 

“Despite these challenges, our fourth quarter continues to demonstrate that the adjustments we have made to our operations provide a foundation for sustainable margin improvements which are expected to provide a significant lift to our adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow as business volume returns to normalised levels.”

For the year, revenue tumbled 28.6 per cent to $694.1m (2019: $973.4m), with net loss widening to $136.6m (2019: 39.5m), and adjusted EBITDA closing at a loss of $8.1m compared to a profit of $38.8m a year earlier.

Commenting on improving business trends through 2021’s first quarter, as opposed to the final quarter of the prior year, Sartini added: “We are encouraged by the increased business volumes since state restrictions began to ease and believe that as the vaccination rollout progresses, Las Vegas will benefit from pent up demand as well as the resumption of retail and business travel. 

“Looking forward, we expect the changes we have made to our cost structure will provide us with sustainable margin improvements which are expected to result in higher cash generation and allow us to reduce leverage, pursue future strategic initiatives and return capital to shareholders.”