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Konami gaming segment reports loss for Apr-Dec period

Konami Holdings Corp reported on Thursday a segmental loss for its gaming and systems division – including casino equipment – in the nine months to December 31. Such loss was nearly JPY1.49 billion (US$14.1 million) compared to a profit of JPY2.42 billion over the same period in 2019.

The performance was on segmental revenue that declined 48.8 percent year-on-year in the reporting period, to JPY11.75 billion, from JPY22.98 billion in the ninth months to December-end 2019, the company added.

The gaming and systems division of the Japanese entertainment conglomerate’s business includes the supply of casino slot machines and casino floor management systems.

In the casino gaming segment, Konami operates outside Japan via Konami Australia Pty Ltd and U.S.-based Konami Gaming Inc.

Konami Holdings said the lacklustre performance at its gaming and systems division was linked to Covid-19 and related disruption caused to gaming business around the world, including temporary casino shutdowns in a number of jurisdictions starting from mid-March 2020.

“Although certain restrictions remain, most of casino facilities in the United States have resumed operations in phases and the market is recovering,” said the parent.

But it added: “It will take time for the market to fully recover under this severe business environment, due to continued travel restrictions: however, the market is expected to recover gradually.”

During the reporting period, the division had launched a new slot machine, the “Dimension 49J”, featuring a ‘J’ curve display, said Thursday’s statement.

Konami said the new cabinet was aimed at the revenue-share segment operated by the brand in tandem with casino businesses, in jurisdictions that permit it.

The group stated that in the reporting period, gaming and systems had also “recognised revenue for the sale of slot machines,” including the group’s “KX43″ upright cabinet and the “Dimension 27″, as well as “revenue from participation agreements; in which profits are shared with casino operators”.

In addition, the group’s Synkros casino-management system had been “introduced into major casino operators in the North American and Australian markets, and new contracts were also executed,” said Konami.

Group profit for the nine months to December 31 actually increased 65.6 percent, to JPY27.00 billion, from JPY16.31 billion.

Such increase was supported by a 79.4-percent year-on-year rise in business profit in the digital entertainment division, to JPY52.12 billion.

That division covers the production, manufacture and sale of “digital content and related products including mobile games, card games and computer and video games”.

One of the division’s strongly-performing products was eSports, as online entertainment had been popular due to other activities by consumers, being “limited by the coronavirus outbreak,” said the Konami parent.

The parent said its interim dividend was JPY22.50 per share, and the dividend for the financial year ending March 31, 2021 would be JPY22.50 per stock unit, and that, “as a result, the dividend forecast on an annual basis will be JPY45.00 per share”.