Rising costs push Century Casinos to net loss in 2023

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Revenue was higher across all markets for Century in 2023, with operations in the US driving the rise in revenue. Century also expanded its network by completing several acquisitions during the year.

These deals included the remaining 50% in Nevada’s Nugget Casino Resort, purchased from Marnell Gaming in April 2023 for $100.0m. In July, Century also finalised its acquisition of Rocky Gap Casino in Maryland for $56.1m, after striking the deal July 2022.

Aside from M&A activity, Century also continued work on several large construction projects in Missouri. Its new Cape Girardeau hotel is set to open next month, while the Caruthersville casino and hotel is scheduled for completion in late 2024.

Taking into account these new projects, acquisitions and increase in revenue, co-CEOs Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger were positive about Century. Both described 2023 as a “transitional” year for the business that sets it up for growth in 2024 and beyond.

“2023 was a transitional year for Century,” Haitzmann and Hoetzinger said. “We completed two major acquisitions to expand our US portfolio to seven casinos.

“We are excited to look forward to 2025, when our newly acquired casinos are fully integrated into the company and to what we anticipate will be our first year since 2022 with no significant construction or renovation disruptions at our properties.”

US revenue jumps 41.7% in 2023

Breaking down geographical performance in 2023, the US was Century’s main source of revenue by some distance. Revenue in the US increased 41.7% to $380.6m, helped by the acquisition of the two casinos.

North of the border, Century also reported growth in Canada, with revenue here rising 5.3% year-on-year to $75.4m. Century operates four land-based venues across Canada.

Over in Europe, revenue from operations in Poland edged up by 4.3% to $94.1m. This was despite unanticipated licensing delays that resulted in the closure of three casinos in Poland in Q4. 

Century has since secured all three Polish licences, with one casino reopening last month and another scheduled before the end of March. The third casino is due to open at a new location in Q3.

The group also noted $61,000 in other and corporate revenue, down 70.4% year-on-year.

Higher expenses hits bottom line

Turning to spending, total operating expenses in 2023 amounted to $487.3m, an increase of 33.1%. Non-operating costs were also 42.7% higher for the year at $87.9m.

As such, pre-tax loss reached $23.8m, in contrast to a $6.0m profit in 2022. Century received $5.3m in tax benefits but also noted a $9.7m loss from non-controlling assets.

This left an overall net loss of $28.2m, compared to an $8.0m profit during the previous year. However, there was better news in terms of EBITDAR, which increased 10.4% to $114.0m in 2023.

Similar story in Q4

As for the final quarter of the year, the results made for similar reading. Revenue increased by 38.5% to $143.8m. 

Again, Century reported solid year-on-year growth across the US (up 36.6%) and Canada (up 51.4%). However, the same could not be said for Poland, where the licensing issues and subsequent closures meant revenue fell 71.1%. In addition, Century reported a drop of $3.3m from corporate and other activities.

Spending-wise, operating costs increased 44.0% to $131.2m, while non-operating expenses were also up 52.4% to $25.0m. This led to a pre-tax loss of $12.4m, compared to $2.6m in 2022.

Century received $4.0m in income tax benefits but also accounted for a $2.4m loss from its non-controlling assets. As such, this left an overall net loss of $10.8m, more than double $4.0m in the previous year and in line with forecasts made last month.

However, as was the case with the full year, there was better news with EBITDAR. This was 17.1% higher at $25.4m.

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