Consolidated sales of over € 4 billion for the first time for Austrian Lotteries and Casinos Austria
Successful new products, investment in quality improvement and the optimisation of processes led to an increase in sales, result and tax contributions
In the last fiscal year, the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group generated consolidated sales of more than € 4 billion for the first time, thus 3.5 percent more than in 2016. At € 101 million, the consolidated result increased by 10.3 percent, reaching a figure in excess of € 100 million for the first time. At around € 622 million, a new record was also reported for taxes, levies and contributions. It was not just the group itself with its 4,200 employees (2,400 of them in Austria), the shareholders and the finance minister that had reason to be satisfied; guests and customers were delighted as well: € 2.74 billion in winnings paid out also sets a new record.
"The positive business development underscores our group's operating strength. Our success is based on the fact that we remain attractive to our guests and customers with a steady range of fresh ideas. We were also able to improve our cost efficiency through the optimisation of processes", Director General Alexander Labak said, calling attention to the fact that a "special thanks goes to our employees, who have made our group a leading Austrian company through their outstanding performance".
Together with its subsidiaries Austrian Lotteries generated € 3.48 billion in sales, which is an increase of 3.9 percent compared to the previous year.
The earnings from classic lottery games rose by 2.4 percent to € 1.34 billion. At € 343 million, EuroMillions generated an increase of 9.3 percent compared to 2016, which is attributable to the stronger development of Europots in 2017 overall. Lotto "6 out of 45" had two sales-related highlights last year. The successful launch of the additional LottoPlus game at the beginning of October and, at Christmas, the first sixfold jackpot in the history of Lotto lifted Lotto sales to € 604 million, which is an increase of 1.3 percent.
The online gaming platform win2day delighted its users last year with a relaunch and a consistent expansion of the product range of casino games. These activities resulted in an increase in sales of 4.8 percent to € 1.61 billion.
WINWIN Video Lottery Terminals opened a new location in Bischofshofen in mid-May 2017 and generated a year-on-year increase in sales of 5.2 percent to € 525 million.
With its twelve casinos, Casinos Austria generated gaming revenue of € 330 million, or one percent above that of 2016. In 2017, more than 2.85 million visitors visited one of the twelve domestic casinos, more than half of them international guests, i.e. tourists. Casinos Austria also invested heavily last year: the focus was on completing the comprehensive renovation at Casino Graz and on the expansion of Casino Vienna to include a slot machine area for international high rollers. The major refurbishment of Casino Salzburg and of the F&B segment at Casino Kitzbühel were likewise concluded.
The company's own F&B subsidiary Cuisino succeeded at treating its guests as well. In the renowned Gault & Millau Guide, the Cuisino restaurants at the casinos in Velden (two toques), Vienna, Salzburg, Linz, Bregenz and, for the first time in Graz, were awarded a total of seven toques.
Development at Casinos Austria International was likewise positive in 2017. The 26 casinos and the VLT business in a total of 13 countries increased visitor numbers by 5.9 percent to 5.1 million guests and generated growth in consolidated sales of 5.9 percent to € 134 million. The operating result was € 16 million, and the consolidated result was € 8.2 million, which means an increase of € 7 million compared to the consolidated result adjusted for special effects in 2016.
50 years of Casinos Austria – 50 years of social responsibility
2017 also provided reason to celebrate. On 29 November, the 50th anniversary of the founding of today's Casinos Austria AG was celebrated with guests, business partners, companions and employees. 50 years marked by continuous innovation, but especially by a commitment to society and, first and foremost, of course, player protection. "The 'Responsible Gaming policy' of our group of companies remains an international benchmark and has been certified multiple times in accordance with the strictest of standards", says Director General Labak. Employee training, cooperation with science and research, and a set of protective measures that extend beyond legal requirements are unrivalled. "And," Labak continues, "our commitment is not limited to the range of games offered, as we are one of the largest taxpayers in the country, an important source of inspiration for the domestic leisure industry, and support a variety of projects in the social sphere, culture, tourism and in sports".
Moreover, the personal commitment to good causes is a high priority in the group. To further promote this, the company has provided each employee with up to five days per year at full pay for corporate volunteering since 2018. As a leading Austrian company, the intention here is also to set standards, says Alexander Labak: "We know that many in the company are involved in social causes, and we want to support this effort and ensure that their social commitment is widely supported in the company".
There has also been momentum in the ownership structure recently. Director General Alexander Labak notes that "the shift in ownership from financial investors to entrepreneurial shareholders has brought greater dynamism and expertise to the group, opening up new prospects for successful development in the European environment".
The annual report of the Casinos Austria Group is attached below. The annual financial report of Casinos Austria International Holding is available for download at the website of the Oesterreichischen Kontrollbank.