SkyCity expects return to normal operations in 2022

SkyCity expects return to normal operations in 2022

The second lockdown in Auckland cost the group about US$14 million. It is now operating at the same levels as in May.  

New Zealand.-  SkyCity Entertainment Group’s chief executive, Graeme Stephens, said the company is prepared to endure new lockdowns and wait until 2022 to see a full return to normal operations.

He said: “It’s really only 2022 that we expect to be back under full strength. We feel well-positioned to ride out what is ahead of us.” 

To cope with the financial impact of the pandemic, the company has reduced its workforce by a quarter and restructured its finances, including raising AU$230 million (US$163 million) in equity. 

Stephens said in a statement published by the New Zealand Herald that the group’s goal is to remain open for business without spending too much capital in order to be well-positioned once the pandemic is over.  

He said he does not expect tourism and international business to return to New Zealand for at least a year, and that the firm’s projections are to return to 2019 levels of revenue in 2022.

In the meantime, the company has decided not to pay an interim dividend. Depending on how things pan out, it could pay a final-year dividend in 2022.

The pandemic had a significant impact on SkyCity’s casinos, although they were among the first in the world to reopen.  

Its Auckland casino went through a second closure due to a Covid-19 outbreak in August, and only returned to normal operations in October.

That cost SkyCity about AU$20 million (US$14.1 million) although the firm received government subsidies to pay wages. Stephens said the Auckland property is now performing consistently in line with trading during May and June.

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