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Hit Boss Projects 10% Drop in Revenues in 2013

Ljubljana, 03 May (STA) - Gaming company Hit chairman Dimitrij Piciga told Friday's edition of the daily Dnevnik that a 10% drop in revenues is expected in 2013 from last year's EUR 190m. Anything less than 10% will be a success, he stressed.

In the first two months, revenues already fell by 18%, noted Piciga, who was appointed in mid-March for a transitional six-month term during which he has to pave the way for a new management.

The casino and hotel operator plans a EUR 30m loss this year, mostly on impairments of investments. Otherwise, Piciga believes Hit could make it out of the red this year, but he stressed that the company must invest much more in guests.

"If they play more, we offer them other benefits. A guest can quickly get a free room or plane ticket," he said, adding that Hit usually gets to keep 6% of the money spent in its casinos on average.

Nevertheless, Piciga said that considering the 2012 operations and the necessary investments, a reprogramming of the company's debts with creditor banks would almost certainly be needed.

He sees the key strategic problem, which is also the main reason for the dropping revenues, in the fact that a slim segment of Hit's top-spending guests from Italy generate almost a half of the total EUR 200m turnover.

This means the crisis in Italy is partly to blame for Hit's trouble, he added.

Moreover, the excessive focus on Italian guests brought the death of commercial thinking in the group, according to Piciga, who announced an expansion of the company's focus especially on Turkey and Russia.

He further said that more attention should be drawn to the tourism division, which currently only accounts for a tenth of Hit's revenues, while he believes revenues from tourism could as much as double in the next two years.

Although Hit is among the biggest providers of hotel accommodation in Slovenia, its profit from hospitality is below the country's average, noted Pigica, who used to head the Slovenian Tourism Board.

Piciga also thinks Hit has been sleeping in the last six or seven years as regards e-gaming, which he said could account for 5-10% of the turnover by 2015.

As regards cost-cutting measures, he said much had been done regarding labour costs, but noted that Hit should become more flexible, with more people working in time of high demand and fewer when there are not so many guests.

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