Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has published its Q1 financial results for the three month period ended March 31, showing revenues down by 10% year-on-year to $273.8m and adjusted EBITDA of $103m, a decrease of 6% year-on-year.

During the quarter the company temporarily suspended the operations of all of its gaming facilities and ancillary amenities across the country in an effort to contribute to the containment of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing the headline figures in more detail, the firm said that the Q1 revenue decrease was primarily due to the closure of all gaming facilities on March 16, 2020 in response to the pandemic, partially offset by improved revenues during the quarter in the period prior to the gaming facility closures.

On adjusted EBITDA decline in the first quarter, the company again cited lost revenue as a result of closures due to the pandemic. It told investors: “In response to the facility closures, the company took measures to significantly reduce its operating expenses to mitigate the decline in revenues from the gaming facility closures.”

CEO Rod Baker stated: “In these uncertain times, our thoughts are foremost on the health and well-being of our team members, guests and our communities. The pandemic has disrupted businesses around the world, including our own, and we are focused on navigating this difficult period to best position the company to succeed in the long term. 

“Our team is diligently working on re-opening plans for our properties with a focus on health and safety best practices, and we will be ready to welcome back our team members and guests to our sites, when appropriate.”

On the outlook, Baker added: “The health and safety of our team members and guests is the priority and we are monitoring the pandemic closely, following the advisements provided by government authorities and workplace safety best practices in preparation of re-opening of our facilities.

“In addition to the temporary facility closures, the Government of Ontario’s mandated closure of all non-critical construction projects has resulted in an orderly wind-down of our active construction projects in Ontario, including the Pickering Casino Resort and Woodbine developments as well as facility expansion projects nearing completion in West GTA. 

The revised timelines for these developments will be reassessed once the timing of the government mandated closures are better understood and workplace conditions can proceed in a safe and appropriate manner.”

“We are working diligently on our re-opening plans during this period and when the time is appropriate, we will be ready to relaunch our businesses. We expect the start-up and post-relaunch ramp up periods of our gaming facilities and capital projects under development to be a challenging time for Great Canadian and we are very fortunate to have so many dedicated and hard-working team members getting us though this difficult closure period and into our reopening phase.”

Outlining the company’s financial status, Baker said: “As a result of our prudent approach to use of capital over the years, Great Canadian was in a stable capital and liquidity position that has prepared us to navigate financial adversity. As at March 31, 2020, the company had a cash balance of $881.9m and $858.9m of available undrawn credit on its credit facilities, subject to applicable covenants. 

“Subsequent to quarter-end, the company’s work with its banking partners to amend its credit agreements to temporarily waive certain financial and other covenants adds reinforcement to the company’s capital structure and better positions us to succeed through these challenging times.”