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Monte Carlo casino operator recharged after turbulent times

Last week, operator of Casino de Monte-Carlo, Société des Bains de Mer, reported a strong increase in revenue for the first six months of 2022/2023. Here, Gambling Insider dives into the figures and looks at what drove a successful half-year of growth for the operator.

Last year (2021/2022), a year still feeling the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic, Société des Bains de Mer’s H1 dip in results was no surprise. Although lower than the casino’s pre-pandemic €408.6m H1 results for 2019/2020, reporting €311.4m ($327.4m) in revenue for half-year was not as bad as it could have been given the slew of lockdowns gripping European nations at the time.

The operator of what is arguably Europe’s most iconic casino would, therefore, have been delighted to see €432.3m reported for H1 2022/2023, an amount greater than that reported in H1 two years prior – a pre-pandemic era.

The result of strong revenue for the latest half-year means operating profit has risen to €91.9m, an increase on the €50.1m profit reported for the first six months of last year. What’s more significant is profit, just like revenue, is up on the company’s pre-pandemic H1 2019/2020 figure of €69.4m.

This marked difference is made evident in the casino’s impressive income for H1 2022/2023, taking €918.8m. The year-on-year upturn is vast; the Casino de Monte-Carlo only generated €45.6m for the first six months of the fiscal year 2021/2022.

Of the operator’s segments, a rise in revenue from hotel services, understandably, saw the greatest growth. The Casino de Monte-Carlo saw hotel revenue hit €235.4m in H1 2022/2023, compared to €140m for the prior-year period. This represents a 68% rise in revenue year-on-year.

Revenue from gaming was up, rising from €112.6m in H1 2021/2022 to €131.3m in the half year 2022/2023. Although a rise, this growth is not as impressive as that from the operator’s hotel segment, perhaps reflecting customers’ renewed willingness to travel, but not necessarily gamble.

However, things weren’t all rosy for Société des Bains de Mer’s casino resort on the French Riviera. The operator reported a negative financial result of -€2.3m for H1 2022/2023, a larger negative amount than the -€1.5m reported for the same period last year.

This marked difference is made evident in the casino’s impressive income for H1 2022/2023, taking €918.8m. The year-on-year upturn is vast; the Casino de Monte-Carlo only generated €45.6m for the first six months of the fiscal year 2021/2022

The operator does note, though, that the shedding of its 47.3% stake in Betclic Everest Group in June 2022 played a part in this, given the revenue losses from Betclic.

Selling its stake to Dutch operator FL Entertainment at an agreed amount of €850m, half of the amount was paid to Société des Bains de Mer in cash, while the other half was in the form of shares in FL Entertainment.

This also included Société des Bains de Mer receiving 4.95% of the voting rights in FL Entertainment, holding 10.39% of the company’s economic interests.

Therefore, despite contributing to a slightly worse negative financial result of -€2.3m for Société des Bains de Mer in H1 2022/2023, the sale amount resulted in the operator generating what it calls “exceptional” profit of €813.5m on its financial statement for H1 2022/2023. This also accounted for a positive share in the revenue of €15.6m for the first six months of 2022/2023.

These positive results for Société des Bains de Mer mean the operator had greater cash flow from its business in the first six months of the fiscal year, growing to €116.3m from €82.4m in the prior-year period.

The after-effects of Covid still linger over the controlling company of the Casino de Monte-Carlo. Despite selling its Betclic stake and a marked upturn in hotel revenue, its debt as of 30 September 2022 stood at €470.6m, compared to a debt of €30m in the prior-year period, when the effects of Covid hadn’t fully taken its toll on businesses.

But, although a large amount of debt to clear, Société des Bains de Mer says it remains committed to its investment programmes. With the sale of its Betclic stake refuelling its pockets with much-needed cash, the company still managed to invest €70.5m in the first half of its 2022/2023 fiscal year.

In 2020, Casino de Monte-Carlo won the Award for Casino of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more on the Monte Carlo casino operator, see our GI Huddle, where we spoke to Casino de Monte-Carlo COO Pascal Camia.

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