Macau casino Galaxy Entertainment first-half net profit climbs 35 percent

HONG KONG Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:34am EDT

A man walks past Galaxy Macau in Macau June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Yeung

A man walks past Galaxy Macau in Macau June 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Yeung

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (0027.HK) beat forecasts with a 35 percent rise in first-half net profit as punters continued to flock to the only place in China where casinos are legal.

Net income for the first six months of the year was HK$4.6 billion ($593.19 million) compared with HK$3.4 billion a year earlier. The figure was higher than the average analyst forecast of HK$4.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Galaxy, one of the six licensed operators in Macau, is the second-biggest gaming firm in the southern territory after Sands China Ltd (1928.HK) in terms of market capitalization at $24 billion. Controlled by the Hong Kong-based Lui family, Galaxy is expected to open a new phase of its Galaxy Macau property in 2015.

($1 = 7.7628 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Stephen Coates and Matt Driskill)