SkyCity in the black thanks to JobKeeper payments

by William Brown Last Updated
SkyCity shuts down Auckland casino under government orders

The receipt of the Australian government’s JobKeeper payment has helped keep a Trans Tasman casino operator in the black.

In Daily reports that Adelaide’s SkyCity Casino received more than $23 million in JobKeeper payments, helping its New Zealand parent company to a $73.1 million profit for the first half of the 2021 financial year.

The Kiwi company reported its first half 2021 results to the Australia Securities Exchange this week, revealing a 37 per cent fall in revenue for the period to $420 million and a 76 per cent drop in net profit after tax to $73.1 million, down from $306 million in the last six months of 2019.

However, revenue from Adelaide was $89.5 million in the six months to December 31, a 15.8 per cent increase on the $77.4 million it generated in the same period the previous year.

This amount included $15.4 million in JobKeeper payments from the Australian government on top of the $7.8 million it received from March 31 to June 30 last year.

SkyCity was eligible for the payments until January 3 this year.

The company has also received almost $30 million in wage subsidies from the New Zealand government to help prop up its casinos in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Queenstown.

The Adelaide casino also outperformed its NZ counterparts when it came to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation, reporting a 95.9 per cent increase to $25.2 million for the six months compared with $12.9 million for the first half of the 2020 financial year.

SkyCity opened its $330 million Adelaide expansion in the first week of December.

The expansion includes new gaming spaces, bars, restaurants and a luxury 120-room EoS hotel.

In its report to the ASX, the company said the casino had seen a gaming revenue increase of 33 per cent for the period December 1 to February 13, hotel occupancy had been about 60 per cent and the new food and beverage facilities were proving popular with customers.

Boasting 270-degree views of the city, Adelaide Hills, River Torrens and coast, SkyCity delivers an impressive South Australian tourism experience with South Australian Premier Steven Marshall noting “there is no doubt the new SkyCity is going to be a huge drawcard for our state.”

SkyCity Adelaide general manager David Christian advised that as one of the state’s largest private employers, he’s excited about the future and the role SkyCity will play in supporting tourism, local artisans and jobs for South Australians.

Christian said when SkyCity designed the new Adelaide complex, it had tourism and catering to local South Australian producers and suppliers at the front of their mind.

“I feel a sense of pride in what SkyCity has achieved since taking ownership 20 years ago,” Christian said.

“In just the past 12 months, SkyCity Adelaide has supported more than 700 local suppliers and employed an extra 500 staff, as well as producing 1000 construction jobs for the duration of the project.”

The Adelaide casino has been an important part of South Australia’s fabric since it opened in December 1985, when Premier John Bannon launched the building with a game of two-up to mark the opening of South Australia’s first casino.

At a cost of $30 million, Adelaide’s grand railway station was revolutionised.

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