10 Aug 2016

SkyCity profit leaps off back of high-rollers

1:52 pm on 10 August 2016

SkyCity's full-year profit has jumped 13 percent, driven by growth in its Auckland casino and international high-rollers business.

SkyCity signage

SkyCity says its improved profit is driven by growth in its Auckland casino and international high-rollers business. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The casino operator also reported lower expenses, but said trading had softened in the past couple of months.

SkyCity Entertainment Group's net profit for the year ended June 30 was $145.7 million, up from $128.7m the previous year - roughly in line with market expectations.

SkyCity said its normalised net profit, which takes out one-off items and better reflects the underlying business, was up 14 percent to a record $152.7m.

Group revenue rose 9 percent to $1.1 billion, while the flagship Auckland casino's revenue rose seven percent.

Turnover in the international high rollers business rose 33 percent to $12.4bn.

The improvement had come from across the business, but with particular strength in Auckland and Adelaide casinos, the company said.

Its Hamilton and Queenstown casinos also had improved returns, although Darwin was softer.

However, SkyCity warned of some softness in trading.

"The second half result [was] below expectations, primarily influenced by quieter trading in May and June," it said in a statement.

The company's full-year dividend was up one cent to 21.0 cents a share.

SkyCity is spending $700m on an international convention centre and hotel in Auckland, and $AU300m on upgrading its Adelaide casino.

The company was still looking for a new chief executive following the surprise departure of Nigel Morrison in April, after eight years in the top job.

SkyCity shares fell nearly three percent, or 14 cents to $5.00, in early trading.

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