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Edited Transcript of EVT.AX earnings conference call or presentation 18-Feb-21 9:00pm GMT

·38 min read

Half Year 2021 Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd Earnings Call NSW, Sydney Feb 19, 2021 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Event Hospitality and Entertainment Ltd earnings conference call or presentation Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 9:00:00pm GMT TEXT version of Transcript ================================================================================ Corporate Participants ================================================================================ * Gregory C. Dean Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary * Jane M. Hastings Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director ================================================================================ Conference Call Participants ================================================================================ * Brian Han Morningstar Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst * John O'Shea Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst * Sam Teeger Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director * Wei-Weng Chen JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst ================================================================================ Presentation -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Event Hospitality & Entertainment Half Year Results Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) I would now like to hand the conference over to Ms. Jane Hastings, CEO. Please go ahead. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Good morning, everyone, and thanks for dialing in. With me today, I have Greg Dean, Director of Finance; David Stone, Company Secretary; and Mathew Duff, Director of Commercial. We'll move this through this at a top line level to enable much time for questions at the end. Okay. On the summary. It's clear that the pandemic has driven our revenue down by $466 million, and we've had a very strong response to mitigate that EBITDA loss of $31 million. Globally, our industries have been impacted, and hotels, cinemas and ski resorts, and we're pleased that EVENT's markets have performed better. Only 56% of global cinemas were opened. And given that blockbuster films have a day-and-date release, that delayed most of those releases. Global box office was down 73%, and our markets performed better than that. International and interstate border closures, fall in occupancy in key hotel markets now up to 64%, and our hotels performed well relative to their competitor sets. In Thredbo, whilst operating at 50% capacity and having not so good -- a not so good ski season, but EBITDA only reduced by 16.7% due to the success of the initiatives that we put in place. We have had a very strong focus on active cost management and have materially reduced the cash burn to mitigate the impact. We had around about a $20 million per month EBITDA loss in the earlier COVID period, March to June, and we reduced that to $5 million per month in the 6-month period. The active cost management achieved just over $100 million in cost reduction and $155 million since COVID commenced. We have a strong balance sheet and are confident to manage through the current pandemic trajectory. The pandemic has impacted our revenue by circa $800 million, and we have done well to offset those declines. The net debt has increased by only 10%. Our debt facilities of $750 million, with the majority, around $650 million, maturing in 2023. We've made really strong progress on our future growth initiatives despite our focus on COVID. We're on track to exceed a record year of hotel network expansion, and I'll talk a little bit more about the Independent Collection by Event, which we've recently launched. Our future strategy is delivering increased spend to customer walking through the door. And I'll talk also a little bit more about Cinebuzz on Demand trial that we have launched. The Thredbo growth initiatives are on track, and we were really pleased with the summer performance in mountain biking. And for the first time, January was EBITDA positive. We're confident in the growth from our core property plans, and we'll talk more about those later. And we've made the decision to divest some non-core properties to unlock potential proceeds of before tax around $250 million over the next 2 years. Our outlook is positive. Our recovery is subject to the timing of the progress of the vaccination programs in key markets, not just our own markets, but also the U.S.A. Our unaudited results for January 2021 shows that Entertainment Australia, Hotels and Resorts and Thredbo were EBITDA positive. We know that significant uncertainty remains, but we're targeting an approved H2 to H1 for the Entertainment and Hotels and Thredbo businesses. And for Thredbo, we are expecting the results to be favorable on the prior comparable half. In Germany, we believe, based on current government updates, we'll open late April, early May. Based on the current market data, our estimated recovery, by recovery, I'm saying more normalized trading, so Cinemas would be in '21, '22; Thredbo, '21, '22; and Hotels, financial year '22, '23, considering that international travel is unlikely to resume in the '21 year. Subject to trading conditions, the Board desires to resume dividend payments from the 2022 financial year. The next couple of charts, our aim is to put some transparency around the cost work that has been undertaken in order to mitigate the impact. So $466 million revenue decline in the first half, $142 million saving directly related to revenue reduction. Wage subsidies of $48 million. It's important to note that around half of the wage subsidies were straight pass-through to employees and $101 million active cost management. So active cost management includes areas such as external supply negotiations, rent abatements, the impact of our new variable operating models, extremely strict cost control on all other expense areas, voluntary salary reductions by senior management, all of that is captured with an active cost management. Since the pandemic commenced, $800 million, just over, reduced revenue and wage subsidies contributed around $86 million. Once again, around half of that is straight -- passed straight through to the employee and $155 million of cost management, which we're really pleased with. We believe that the actions that we've taken have really set up a good platform for us to perform even better when the market normalizes. So H1 results review. Group trading revenue was $294 million, down $466 million, excluding the government subsidies. We thought that the prior half year is less relevant as a useful comparison given the material pandemic restrictions on trading. So what we've done here, in the graph to the left, is we've tried to provide more insight into trading performance during the COVID period. So we're giving you a view of the initial COVID period performance, the 4 months, March to June 2020, versus the most recent COVID-impacted period, the 6 months, July to December. As you can see, in the first 4 months of COVID, we lost around $76 million in EBITDA, which equates to circa $20 million per month. In the period July to December, we lost $31 million, which is an improved position of around $5 million EBITDA loss per month. The monthly average variance column outlines the improvement by division. So we hope you find this useful. It is important to note that Germany did show improvement, but not as much as Australia and New Zealand entertainment businesses. This is primarily due to less government subsidies during this period, and we'll talk a little bit about those later, and the third wave of COVID in Europe, which resulted in the German market entering a lockdown, with cinemas closing at the beginning of November. It's also important to note that the first half result includes around $13 million of rent abatements that have been agreed but not yet formally signed. Whilst it was a period of transformation to reduce cash burn, we made good progress on our future growth initiatives, which I've touched on, and all the work we've done will really put us in a great place to rebound when government restrictions lift. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Regarding the debt levels, we're currently a net debt level of $452 million. We have drawn debt of $533 million. We have facility headroom of approximately $216 million. I think the active cost management that Jane's referenced has really come to fruition in our debt levels. We're very careful to maintain conservative debt levels, and we're doing everything we can to do that. Debt went up 10%. We drew down $45 million over the course of the 6 months. So we think it was a good result and reflects that active cost management process that we're going through. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moving to Hotels and Resorts. We were very pleased that the underlying EBITDA was positive, excluding government subsidies every month from September 2020. And there's significant improvement in the initial COVID impact period in terms of EBITDA loss of $2.5 million to the 6-month period, a profit of $11.3 million, really strong active cost management. And the half year result was assisted by government subsidies, which contributed around 15.5% of revenue, and to a lesser extent, quarantine business, which was only around 8.8% of our revenue in that period. We do believe the new operating models are sustainable and will continue to deliver margin improvement in the recovery period. We are seeing that the lockdowns -- and there is a start, stop mode in the domestic market at this point in time, and we are seeing that the lockdowns and border closures have an immediate impact, but we're agile, and the market recovers quickly. A few examples with the Victorian lockdown. Just pre-border closing initially. Hotels were averaging around 31% occupancy and $132 average daily rate. During, that dropped away, the occupancy and rate, but post coming straight out of it, 4 weeks post the reopening of the borders, hotels averaged around 45% occupancy and $141 average daily rate. That was in the period pre the Northern Beaches recent outbreak, and we'll assess that again in the next couple of weeks. Auckland is another good example of that. So pre the border closing, occupancy was in the mid-40s. Post, it bounced out to around 57% occupancy and a $151 average daily rate. So it is a stop, start at the moment, and that's why our business needs to be agile to adjust. But we are seeing the rebound coming back a little bit faster each time. We're on track to achieve a record portfolio growth with 5 [new hotels]. Rydges Gold Coast Airport has recently opened. QT Auckland, Rydges Formosa Golf Resort, the Oval Adelaide and Tank Stream Sydney. The new brand, Independent Collection, again, I'll talk about that a lot more in a moment to provide some background. Key statistics by brand. I think the most interesting thing here is that each of our brand is performing in a relatively similar way in terms of recovery. So we're not seeing Rydges or QT, one or the other, outperforming each other. They're kind of recovering in a similar way. The decline in the Rydges occupancy during that period is primarily related to the Victorian lockdown, and the same applies to QT in terms of average room rate with the Victorian lockdown. We're really pleased to be launching our first Atura in the New Zealand market, actually launched last week. It was previously The Thorndon Hotel management agreement, and that's the first of that brand in the market. In terms of overall occupancy levels, we've seen them improve. April was around up 18%. It's hard to even say that. June was 28.7% and December was around 55.3%. So there is improvement, and all of our brands have outperformed their competitive sets. In terms of development. I just wanted to highlight a couple of things on this page. The 2 targeted hotels for upgrades, Rydges Melbourne and QT Gold Coast. QT Gold Coast, we've already commenced the program. So the shared spaces, suites, pool area, et cetera, has been upgraded through this period. The next phase of this project includes rooms and conferencing space. And we're well underway in planning the Rydges Melbourne property for the major upgrade, which we aim to commence in FY '22. We also welcomed Yarra Valley Lodge to the group just 1 week or so ago, which is a 102-room property in Victoria and will operate under the Independent Collection brand by EVENT. So the Independent Collection, it's a growth platform. We've been working on this for about the past 18 months. First, recognizing a gap in the market, and matching this with our ambition to expand and better leverage one of our key competitive advantages, local-based experience and capabilities. It's important to note there's actually more unbranded properties in Australia than branded. And whilst that set of hotels is a large number, our target is a clear subset of this around a group of properties with 75 rooms or more. The financial model is flexible for owners, traditional management agreements included, to a select services model. The strategy will continue to evolve. One project, which is underway right now, is innovating the new bookings platform, which makes the connections for independent owners even easier and more cost-effective. And this trial is underway across our owned Atura properties. Simply put, to have an EVENT-branded hotel, owners were required to meet our brand standards. To be part of the Independent Collection by Event is about being flexible to meet the owners' brand standards and to aid in unlocking growth potential. The tiers provide flexibility to ensure we have an option for all hotel experiences. And we really see this as a strong opportunity for EVENT to expand. So moving to property. The movement in EBITDA is primarily related to the rent release that we provided to our tenants during the COVID period and also the fair value adjustments on investment properties down $1 million in prior year. We've made really great progress with 525. Stage One DA was approved, and the design competition process has been completed. Further, it will be completed on the detailed design to maximize the value of the 108 residential apartments and 330-room hotel, retail and cinema podium, and we expect to be submitting the Stage Two DA application around October this year. 458-472 George Street, we received approval for the Stage One DA in November for the podium extension of the QT Hotel, which includes 72 rooms, conference space, rooftop bar and ground floor retail. And we're now preparing Stage One DA for a commercial office tower above the approved extension. We're also pleased to have Gowings as a flagship tenant, which is on the corner of the Gowings property. And I don't know if anyone's walked past it, but it looks fantastic. And as one of the prime -- it's a primary lot in Sydney. It's really a great addition to that area. As mentioned, we've identified and commenced the process of divesting around $250 million of non-core property assets. We have indicated 2 years to complete this, but we aimed to achieve the best returns for these properties. Some of the properties include 3 of the investment properties, including the Pacific building in Canberra, the Forum building in Brisbane and the Double Bay center. We're reviewing a couple of hotel properties at this moment in time, and we have 4 German properties, which we will look to divest. There's also a list of smaller regional properties, including the likes of FilmLab in Miranda, which had a valuation of $5 million and recently sold for $7.8 million. Whilst there have been a limited number of hotel transactions since March 2020, a recent updated valuation for a small number of our EVENT properties suggest a decline in the value in the range of 10% to 15%. Although some more recent larger transactions show strength in the property market, we'll have the majority of, well, circa 50 properties revalued in June, and we'll update you at the full year. The sale of these non-core property assets we expect to at least offset with the growth development of our core property assets over time. Moving to Thredbo. Thredbo delivered an incredibly strong result despite the 50% capacity restrictions and weaker snow conditions. EBITDA only declining 16.7% as a result of an entirely new business model, new products, new pricing, new operations to operate with those constraints. We've had a record mountain biking growth, over 100%. And adjusting for nonrecurring items in the summer months, where we do a lot of our winter R&M, we were profitable for the first time. We've seen January also perform well, as I've mentioned. And pleasingly, Thredbo has retained the Australia's best ski resort and the World Ski Awards for the fourth year and even more pleasingly, Gold certification from EarthCheck in February 2021, the first Australian resort to achieve this. We've made great progress on our Thredbo growth plan, and we'll continue to do so. Everyone is aware of Merritts Gondola completed. New mountain biking trails are being added each year. We're enhancing our snowmaking, and we have plans in place to do a rollout and upgrade of each of the chairlifts over the next 5 to 6 years. We also have some property in Thredbo which we're looking to unlock the value. Moving now to Entertainment. There've been numerous studies commented on in media relating to cinema visitation. More than [half] of these studies have a very small sample from our markets and don't take into consideration how COVID impact the market is. We've been conducting our own research with the largest sample size of cinemagoers in our markets. This recent study that you can see today was completed last week. We spoke to 7,500 cinemagoers, of which around 26% of those have not visited the cinema recently. And the findings were really clear. The key reason that they had not attended, the 26%, was that there was nothing that they had wanted to come and see. We then showed them the lineup of the 2021 films waiting to release, and an overwhelming 91% responded that they would return to see one of these films. We also test our COVID safe practices in all segments of the market where it's summer, in line with going out to a restaurant, is safe. Customers are very willing to return to cinemas when there is a film to see. Research tells us what customers are saying and thinking, but this slide highlights our transactional data, confirms what they are doing. And we've got a really strong [fact base]. In the first half, even with less films, all customer demographics have returned to the cinema. Less volume, of course, but no segments have changed their behavior. 75% of those who attended have been our movie fans, from the -- and Cinebuzz members, those that consume the most film content across all platforms. However, given around half of the global cinemas have been closed due to the pandemic, studios had to delay blockbuster releases. And in the first half, there was only 1 film released that was over $15 million at the box office, which was Tenet, and that only just got over that $15 million level versus $10 million in the prior year. Important to note that Wonder Woman is not included in the period. It was only about 6 days of the first half financial results. So customers have pent-up demand to return. And when films are released, cinemas will bounce back quickly. Some further recent examples of this include in Australia. The Australian movie, The Dry, is currently at about around $17.5 million nationwide box office, well ahead of the pre-COVID forecast. In Japan, the Demon Slayer movie brought all box office records for pre-COVID and is still holding the best opening weekend and best lifetime box office of all time. In China, The Eight Hundred performed well and more recently, over Chinese New Year, had its best weekend box office taking, over USD 1.2 billion, with the Chinatown Detective 3 (sic) [Detective Chinatown 3] beating Avengers: Endgame opening weekend. Even with the 50% to 75% capacity restrictions, they're operating under a net market. So there's plenty of pent-up demand. We just need more blockbusters to release. Looking at Entertainment Australia. Market nationwide box office was down 75.7%, which outperformed other major markets. The COVID-19 government-mandated closure of the JV site in Victoria still closed for the majority of this period. And as I said, no major releases. We had very strong cost management by the team of around $37 million, which has really improved our operating model going forward. I think a key point to highlight here is that every customer that's walking through the door is spending more. Our Net Promoter Score has had a record increase of 9 points to be more satisfied with the experience, and we're delivering that at a lower cost to serve. And that's a model that we feel very confident with moving forward. We continued our pre-COVID strategy of exiting underperforming sites, that included Arndale, Adelaide City and Townsville City. We were pleased that despite nationwide box office being down 50%, Australia delivered positive EBITDA. And we launched our Cinebuzz on Demand trial. So Cinebuzz on Demand, why? Well, simply put, we know customers cannot be with us in cinemas 24/7. We have direct relationships with more than 2.5 million Australian-based moviegoers who love watching movies. For the past 16 months, we've been working on this initiative. When members are stuck at home, they can now rent a movie and earn rewards to redeem back in cinema. The movies will include films that have had a limited release at our cinemas, films that did not release and some that were popular and will strongly support the local film industry. In some of our regional areas, where we only have 6 screens, this enables us to give our members a vast or broader choice of content to consume with us. The Cinebuzz intelligence tool that sits behind this will leverage the transactional data and enable better curation and recommendations for films. However, our aim is also to serve up film recommendations that actually broaden preferences of our members. We're going to continue to evolve this model. We're going to learn with members what works, what does not work, and we'll refine it over the next 12 months. Entertainment New Zealand. Really, the key thing to highlight here is that despite New Zealand being a relative COVID-free market, given the global cinema closures forcing day-and-date blockbusters to be delayed, they didn't have the product to recognize that relatively COVID-free market. Pleasingly, New Zealand content performed well, which is 11% of box office. Again, the same model that we've applied in Australia was in New Zealand. Each customer walking through the door is spending more. So customer satisfaction has increased and is costing us less to serve. In Germany, Germany cinemas were restricted or closed for the majority of H1 given the state of the pandemic across Europe. The German market was down 84% and performed well relative to other European markets, which were, unfortunately, U.K. and Ireland were down 91%, and that was supported by local film content, which was around 30% of the box office during that period. No blockbusters were released. We did see a snippet of time when restrictions started to ease in September. And quickly, we saw box office return to around 50% of the same month prior year. So customers came back relatively quickly, just fewer films to see. Customers spent more, as we saw in Australia, the same strategy. The key points here in terms of the results is the European COVID-19 recovery package is yet to be finalized. There was a wage subsidy, short-time pay, which covered a smaller proportion of the salary -- of the wage costs in Germany. But we're now working through the November-December release and the first 6 months of this year release, and we'll update you more when we have more news on those. It's fundamentally a strong business when cinemas are open and content is available. We do actually have 3 strong local German films waiting to be released as soon as the cinemas do open, which we're expecting to be early May. In terms of an update on CineStar sale to Vue. Vue's failure to satisfy the FCO's condition of the transaction has meant that we're just exploring all of our legal options in terms of Vue's breach of sale on the purchase agreement. And again, we'll update you as we can. We've got a strong film lineup. If we were to design a lineup of films that we would dream of, waiting to release, it would look something like this. In fact, in September, it's been quoted that there's a blockbuster every few weeks. It is subject to change because it really does depend on the vaccination program progress in the U.S. market and in the U.K. to enable cinemas to open and global -- and then global day-and-date releases to unfold. In terms of our outlook. Key point there is that the COVID-19 vaccination program dictates our speed of recovery because that unlocks the government restrictions that we have currently across all of our businesses. We're targeting an improved second half to first half for cinemas and hotels. And we have a positive outlook for July to December, subject to the vaccination program progress. Entertainment, there's pent-up demand, the film lineup looks great. If the U.S.A. vaccination program continues, we expect releases to kick off in the northern hemisphere summer. German cinemas, I've already mentioned, opened by May, with some strong blockbuster films to get that underway. Hotels. Domestic demand we've seen returning quickly after interstate borders reopen. Our brands are very strong in this market, so we expect to be able to maintain an EBITDA-positive result for the second half. Thredbo. We expect the second half to be favorable on the prior comparable [half year]. We are expecting to still be operating in the winter season with capacity constraints, and we're developing our model around that. But we're still targeting ourselves to return to around the 2019 winter profitability, of course, subject to weather conditions. In debt, we expect to remain relatively consistent with our current levels. And of course, there'll be additional improvement to this from the proceeds of any of the noncore property assets that we've identified that sold in that period. The government-mandated closures do make it very difficult to provide a short-term outlook, and I think this is as clear as we can be at this point in time. So our priorities are very clear, the 3 priorities have guided our business for the last 4 years. We -- if there's revenue to be had, we need to get the lion's share of it, grow revenue above market. We've got agile COVID safe operations. We will test them, we refine them and they're working. They keep us open. We've enhanced our sales models to make sure that we are able to outperform the market. And we have a strong focus on looking at every single product, every price, every experience that we have to improve that to improve yield. Maximizing our assets, the strategic divestment of the non-core assets, with the increased value of the core assets is a big part of that. And we've been very targeted about the upgrades on where we can get the best return. Business transformation. We've made very strong progress with our cash burn. We continue to evaluate everything every day to make sure that the changes we're making today do deliver benefits into the future, and they're not short-term initiatives just to get through this period. We've improved the efficiency immensely in our IT infrastructure, our source-to-pay progress, which is our procurement program, is progressing well. We've completed the first stage of our cloud migration and our employee experience efficiency program is underway. And our agile operating model, how can we do things better every day. We're a new business in the way -- I think COVID-19 has taught us to be a very new business, and we're going to come out this being a very new business and far more agile. So happy to take any questions. ================================================================================ Questions and Answers -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [1] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) Your first question comes from John O'Shea from Ord Minnett. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John O'Shea, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [2] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane and team, can you hear me? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [3] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John O'Shea, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [4] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Look, I guess I'm just trying to get a handle on how you're sort of seeing the second half. When you put it together, obviously, I appreciate the uncertainty. If we take the scenario where, obviously, the vaccination program is just starting here, aren't we sort of talking more like towards the end of this year as to when you're going to see perhaps the border closures being a nonissue? And all it -- well, if we continue to finish the vaccination program the way it's looking, and that becomes a nonissue, and then cinemas is similar. So why -- isn't the second half still very much in that on a hibernation period -- not hibernation, but very restricted period in the sense of cinemas and hotels being impacted by that in the second half? So I'm just a bit interested in your overall putting it together for the second half. I appreciate your comments. But in light of where we're at, just trying to get a bit of a sense as to what you're trying to say there, if that makes sense. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [5] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. So we're trying to indicate that the second half looks like a carbon copy of the first half. You're right. We don't expect -- we're not anticipating that the vaccination program will deliver too many benefits in the second half and that will be in the July to December period, where we start to see some of those benefits. The only difference to that, and again, a factor we're not in control of, is the vaccination program in the U.S., in fact, delivers more benefits faster. We do see that as a trigger of unlocking global blockbuster films in the May, June period. So that would be a little bit earlier. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [6] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And John, I know you know this, but the first half includes the seasonal impact of Thredbo, right? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [7] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John O'Shea, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [8] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, of course. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [9] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So you just got to adjust. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- John O'Shea, Ord Minnett Limited, Research Division - Senior Research Analyst [10] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Of course. Of course. Yes, that makes it much clearer, Jane. Good work on the cost reductions. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [11] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thank you. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [12] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [13] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Sam Teeger from Citi. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Teeger, Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director [14] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Just in terms of the CapEx outlook. I mean you spent around $12 million in the first half. What are you currently budgeting for in the second half and maybe FY '22? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [15] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So Sam, we're currently budgeting around the same for the second half. And we are still refining FY '22 because we're pulling in -- getting more accurate cost in our Melbourne project. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Teeger, Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director [16] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Got it. Okay. Cool. And then you touched on the wage subsidies. But just given there's a few of them, can we just go through them? So JobKeeper finishes in March. The New Zealand wage subsidy is finished. Can you just confirm when the German -- that short-term pay finishes? And then I guess, what does the monthly cash burn look like when all these subsidies are over? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [17] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. So you're right with JobKeeper Australia. We only had 1 month of the year for New Zealand wage subsidy in July, that ended last July for the... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [18] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [19] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Short-time pay for Germany, that's running through to December this year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [20] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, 31 December 2021, currently. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [21] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. So in terms of -- what we're saying is we think that there will be a little more revenue in the second half to help offset some of the JobKeeper impact, and we'll be adjusting our business as well in terms of costs further to offset that as some form of subsidy or government release doesn't eventuate for the Hotels and Entertainment segments, which is probably the hottest topic of debate at this point in time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Teeger, Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director [22] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Got it. Like just assuming like, worst-case scenario, the revenues kind of stay flat. What does the cash burn look like as all these wage subsidies are finished? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [23] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam, as Jane referenced before, like the thing is with Germany, there's the EU and the German government. We know something's coming, so it's hard to quantify at this point. But the number that I could give you now isn't correct because we know German subsidies are coming. So we can't really give you any information on that currently. But Jane is correct. What we're assuming is that we will -- she's already said, the second half will be a replication of the first half, in general. There might be some upside, there might be some downside, but that's the only guidance we can give at this point in time. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [24] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, Sam. I mean I think it's really tough to predict at this point in time. There are so many moving pieces. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Teeger, Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director [25] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I can definitely appreciate that. And then the $13 million in rent abatements, are you -- just -- number one, is that primarily cinemas with shopping center landlords? And so you're expecting any more to come? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [26] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, primarily cinemas, and we are in discussions for more to come. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sam Teeger, Citigroup Inc., Research Division - Head of the Australian Small Caps Team & Director [27] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All right. And just, sorry, last question. Just maybe an update on -- is it M-City Edmonson Square? Is that still likely to open this half? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [28] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We're expecting it to open sometime this half. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [29] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Ryan Ham (sic) [Brian Han] from Morningstar. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Han, Morningstar Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [30] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane, the $150-odd million of cost management that you did during the COVID period, how much of that do you think will come back to service the return of your customers to pre-COVID levels? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [31] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That is very difficult to provide an answer at this point in time. Because if you think about it, I mean, strategically, we want to put the right level of cost back in the business to make sure that we grow. So we'll provide more guidance when business normalizes about how that model has benefited and what we've brought through. But at this stage, to predict that, it's too difficult. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [32] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Han, Morningstar Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [33] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. With respect to the German sale. Was there a break clause or compensation amount to cover such noncompletion? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [34] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- At this point in time, we can't -- we're not in a position to be mentioning anything around the sales agreement because, as you'll respect, we're about to explore our legal options. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Brian Han, Morningstar Inc., Research Division - Senior Equity Analyst [35] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- But accounting-wise, we should just assume that this is now a continuing business for the foreseeable future? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [36] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, you should. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [37] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. And hence, the reason the accounts are a little bit complicated this time around. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [38] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Your next question comes from Wei-Weng Chen from JPMorgan. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wei-Weng Chen, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst [39] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- First one is -- there's obviously a lot going on in this result. I think the general assumption for most pandemic-impacted businesses is that the exit rate out of December or early second half trading is better than the average of what we've seen in first half. Just wanted to check if that's holding for your business. Or are there businesses where things have actually deteriorated or not seeing much improvement from the first half average? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [40] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So sorry, I think we've referenced it in the pack that January has been a better month. So hence, there's been a more improved result than what was in the first half. Is that the question? I couldn't really quite understand. But... -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wei-Weng Chen, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst [41] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes, yes. I think it's just -- the question was more around, in general with these businesses, we assume that things are continually getting better. I just wanted to check that, that was the case. And you are seeing certain businesses where the first half average was actually misleading and the business has actually gone backwards from that run rate? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Gregory C. Dean, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - Director of Finance & Accounting and Company Secretary [42] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- No, we would have said that. We've got an obligation to tell you that if we would see that, particularly as we're discussing it now. But no, the January result -- we were very pleased with the January result. And there's some notes in the pack there that sort of give that indicator. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wei-Weng Chen, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst [43] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Okay. And then just on the quarantine business in your hotels. A most recent press were hotels are sort of exiting this business due to concerns around reputation damage. Just wondering what was EVENT's view on this. Are you guys exiting, too? Or does the exit of others provide sort of a market share opportunity for EVENT? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [44] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- We've got no plans to exit at this point in time. We're comfortable with our position. And as I've said, we've only got very few hotels engaged in the quarantine program. And we don't see -- but we probably don't share the belief that there will be a major brand impact. I mean every single brand has been involved in the quarantine. Every single major brand [to launch] has been involved in the quarantine program. And so we don't really see that as an industry -- a big industry issue moving forward. We have noticed that those pulling out seem to be 5-star hotels. But yes -- no, we don't have any plans not to support the program at this time -- or the need in the country as well. And we don't share the concerns that it's going to be a major brand impact moving forward. We think that people know what's going on and why it's going on. And yes, that's our position. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wei-Weng Chen, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst [45] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes. Okay. And then so I guess the continuation of that was, is that a share opportunity for you guys then? Or not really? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [46] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Well, it doesn't operate like a pitch-and-win situation. It's not a typical piece of business. Basically, quarantine business is selected based on how they can best resource within a particular area. So it's really they choose their location. They're selecting hotels that fit within that location because you've got different type of resources that they need to leverage across that. So yes. We don't see this as an opportunity to pitch and win business. It really is allocated just simply and purely by location. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wei-Weng Chen, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Research Analyst [47] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Okay. Understood. And then last one, just on the cinemas, just on the upcoming slate. Assuming everything just proceeds, just wondering if you could speak to any changes to the theatrical window. And are the differences on a studio or a by-film basis? And then while windows might be shrinking now, do you see a situation where post-pandemic windows might start to stretch out again? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jane M. Hastings, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited - CEO, MD & Director [48] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I hope we've got a one-to-one meeting because we could spend an hour on that. So yes, basically, what happened right now -- here's the context. Half of the world cinemas are closed. So the studios have got content that they want to release. It's not the A-grade blockbuster content, but they've got content they want to release, and they've got to make money on it. And so they are exploring different models. There are differences in the kits that they had -- that are occurring in the U.S. and other markets, not all markets are the same. So I think they're in a test phase, but the primary objective is how do we make some money on this content in a COVID period. We feel that -- do we see that major blockbuster windows are going to shrink dramatically? No, because we haven't seen any of those tests prove that more money can be made by a reduced window. But $42 billion of global box office that shrunk to $12 million calendar year last year. I would see that the studios wanted to get that $42 billion worth of box office back. And any strategy that they're taking is trying to be incremental on that, not ease into it. So -- and it's probably a very short answer. There's lots of tests going on. There's lot of trials going on. Recently, in this market, actually, there was a trial with One Doorman (sic) [The Doorman]. One Doorman (sic) The Doorman ended up having a 35-day window. It had no impact. At that point in time when that window reduced and it was available at premium video-on-demand, the drop-off was actually less than other relative films of its nature in the same period like-for-like analysis. So yes, we're in a COVID period. Decisions are being made short term to make money. And I think that we'll see different discussions occur once we -- once cinemas reopen. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Operator [49] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Operator Instructions) There are no further questions at this time. That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for participating. You may now disconnect.