SYDNEY, AAP – Casino operator Star Entertainment is selling stakes in two properties and a plane used to fly VIP customers, after COVID-19 troubles.
Star on Thursday outlined in its full-year earnings report that it is looking to sell and leaseback stakes in its Sydney and Treasury Brisbane casinos.
Star has already called for expressions of interest in Sydney, while it is targeting a Brisbane sale of about $250 million this financial year.
The company will also try and sell a second plane in the same period. Star in the past financial year sold a plane and boat for $35 million.
Company leaders told investors the sales were designed to release capital from assets and re-invest the proceeds in growth opportunities.
Customers at the Queensland casinos helped Star turn a full-year profit after a loss the prior year.
The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane improved earnings and were the main force behind a net profit after tax of $57.9 million.
Locals played a bigger role than usual in spending. There were few visitors from overseas due to coronavirus quarantine rules.
Lockdowns, state border closures as well as restricted business conditions also made trading difficult.
The Star Sydney casino collects much more in sales than its Queensland peers but revenue and earnings were well down.
The Sydney operation has been greatly affected by lockdowns and remains closed.
However chief financial officer Harry Theodore said the company repaid more than $200 million in debt in the past year and was well placed.
Shareholders will not receive a final dividend.
Chairman John O’Neill said the decision not to pay shareholders was due to continuing COVID-19 impacts.
Shares on the ASX were up 7.08 per cent to $3.63 at 1534 AEST.