Delta Corp Planning to Raise $ 30 to 50 Million to Expand Online Gaming Business

After more than 18 months of struggle, India's major casino operator is eager to make use of momentum from operations restart to strengthen its online gaming backbone.

The Company is in Final Stages of Appointing a Banker

Hardik Dhebar, Deltin group's chief financial officer (CFO) discussed the company's current status and immediate future plans in a recent interview for CNBC TV18.

According to Mr. Dhebar, Delta Corp Ltd is in the final stages of appointing a bank to implement a projected capital raise ranging anywhere between $ 30 and 50 million. The CFO expects the funding to help the company for the next one or two quarters to grow the business and increase revenues.

The main focus of the new investment, says Mr. Dhebar, is to be the expansion of the group's online business. Ever since the purchase of Gauss Network Private Ltd and the ownership of its poker platform Adda52 back in 2016, Delta's online division has been very much a poker-focused player which is a highly profitable business. Nevertheless, the online rummy business has been contributing more than 1 crore a month to the revenues of Delta Corp.

Now the company is looking to expand its online casino game portfolio adding other skill-based games and fantasy sports to its digital mix. According to the company's CFO, the online business has been a steady contributor of incomes during the 18 or 19 months of struggle for the entertainment and hospitality industry.

Back in Business with a Bang

Casinos in Goa received the nod from the state's government to resume operations as late as Monday, September 20, less than 10 days before the company CFO's interview was taken. Mr. Dhebar is very enthusiastic with the footfalls that have turned up and comments that the 50 per cent permitted capacity and the strict adherence to Covid-19 safety protocols does not defer customers.

"We are back in business, and back with a bang," he says, adding that following safety guidelines is not a new thing for Delta, since the company was allowed a few months of operation in 2020 under the same conditions. The single fully operational quarter in 2020 showed higher figures than pre-Covid times, and now the company is expecting to reach pre-Covid level of footfalls.

The northeastern state of Sikkim gave the green light to casino operation as early as July 6, but Goa brings the lion's share of revenues for Delta Corp, admits Mr. Hardik Dhebar.

The announcement for the relaxation of measures including the resuming of casino operations just in time for the start of the tourist season in Goa had led to a 13 per cent surge in Delta Corp stock to a 52-week high of ₹ 258 per share. Having learned the hard lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, the company wants to use its buoyant status to enhance its positions in the online casino segment.

Steady Growth Curve was Cut Down by the Pandemic

The Financial Year of 2019 was the best year for Delta Corp Ltd in terms of finances with record breaking revenues of ₹ 798 crore and all-time high EBITDA of ₹ 314 crores. These came down to just ₹ 13 crores of earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization for "obvious reasons" for FY 2021 after revenues of ₹ 419 crore and resulted in a negative profit of ₹ -25 crore after tax.

Before the pandemic, Delta had reported ₹ 455 crores in revenues for FY 2017 and EBITDA of ₹ 161 crore, with FY 2018 figures being ₹ 608 crore and ₹ 246 crore respectively. The last Financial Year before the pandemic - FY 2020 - marked a slight slow down to revenues of ₹ 773 crore and EBITDA of ₹ 276 crore.



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