11 Jul 2014

Skyline profit falls to $25m

8:55 am on 11 July 2014

Queenstown-based tourism investor Skyline's underlying profit for the year ended March has fallen to about $25 million, the company says.

The year-earlier bottom-line profit was $65 million, boosted by a number of one-off gains, but the company said it could not provide the equivalent result for the latest year until its accounts had been audited.

Skyline's biggest asset is Christchurch Casino. It also owns the gondola operations in Queenstown and Rotorua, hotels and other properties, and has luge operations in Singapore and Canada as well as developing one in South Korea.

Despite the profit fall, the company, whose shares trade on the Unlisted market, is holding its dividend steady at 37 cents per share, or a total payout of $12.6 million.

Chairman Mark Quickfall said the underlying result was slightly weaker due to such things as the start up of its international luge expansion in Canada, where it had had to deal with some consenting, mechanical and operational issues.

The company had pre-paid a lot of the rent at Calgary and since then the foreign exchange had strengthened, he said.

"We've also got that push into the international luge market - we've got a development under way in Korea so, of course, that takes some funds away from our bottom line.

"We've again got a strong investment into IT at the moment.

"So quite a few of those factors have an impact but long term they will certainly show the results."

Skyline's largest asset was Christchurch Casino, and patronage there was improving, Mr Quickfall said.

A lot of the infrastructure surrounding the casino had been repaired, and Victoria Street was becoming an entertainment precinct, he said.