KUALA LUMPUR Feb 27 Malaysian-based
gaming-to-plantations conglomerate Genting Bhd, which
controls one of the world's most profitable casinos in
Singapore, reported a 80.5 percent drop in fourth quarter net
The sharp drop partly reflected an inflated figure a year
earlier due to profits from the sale of two power plants.
The group, controlled by the Lim family, one of the most
powerful families in Malaysian business, has also been spending
heavily to aggressively expand in the United States and South
It said it was interested in eventual opportunities in
Japan, which is preparing to allow casinos to open up and could
potentially become the world's second-biggest gaming market,
worth $15 billion a year, analysts say.
Genting said its fourth-quarter net profit to December
dropped to 483.83 million ringgit ($147.96 million) from 2.48
billion ringgit in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue rose
3.8 percent year-on-year.
Excluding the impact of the power plant sales in the fourth
quarter of 2012, Genting would have recorded a 7.4 percent
decline in net profit year on year for the fourth quarter of
The group said earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortisation (EBITDA) fell as a result of a drop in profits
at its Singapore gaming operations and due to the start-up of
leisure and hospitality interests in the United States.
Full-year profit was the lowest in four years at 1.81
billion ringgit, down 54.6 percent from a year earlier and
missing the 2.1 billion ringgit estimated by 20 analysts polled
by Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate.
Genting also has interests in property development and
plantations and operates Asia's largest listed cruise operator
Genting Hong Kong.
The results were announced after the Kuala Lumpur stock
Genting shares have risen 10 percent in the past year,
supported by the group's expansion plans and improving results
from its plantations and Malaysian operations, but lagged a 12.2
percent rise in the Kuala Lumpur benchmark index over
($1 = 3.2700 Malaysian ringgit)
(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage and Yantoultra Ngui; Additional
reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in BANGALORE; Editing by