WELLINGTON Feb 13 New Zealand gaming company
SkyCity Entertainment Ltd's first half profits fell
nearly 16 percent on flat earnings, but it said on Wednesday
that it was confident of a full year result to match last year.
SkyCity, which owns or has interests in three of the
country's six casinos and two in Australia, reported a net
profit of NZ$66.3 million ($55.7 million) for the six months to
Dec. 31 compared with NZ$78.8 million last year.
The top-10 company declared a dividend of 10 cents per
share, from 9 cents a year ago.
Last year's result reflected the increased revenue from the
influx of visitors for the Rugby World Cup.
On a normalised basis, which smoothes out tax payments and
other costs, the company reported a 3.5 percent profit fall to
It said it expected full year net profit to be around NZ$140
million, in line with its October guidance of a profit in the
Shares in SkyCity closed on Tuesday at NZ$4.00. The
company's stock has risen around 6.5 percent so far this year,
against a 3.8 percent in the benchmark NZSX-50 share index
In December, it struck a deal with the South Australian
state government on rules for the gaming sector and has
committed to a A$300 million upgrade of its Adelaide Casino.
It has sold its stake in the Christchurch casino in exchange
for taking full ownership of a Queenstown establishment.
Earlier this month it played down reports it is looking at
investing in the Philippines gaming industry. A
ban on new casinos in New Zealand has given the company a
dominant share of the domestic market. In Australia it faces
rivals such as Crown Ltd, Tabcorp Ltd. and
SkyCity is the preferred developer of a proposed NZ$350
million convention centre in Auckland, but wants the government
to extend its operating licence and allow it to have more
gambling machines, and said it would not be involved if there is
not a suitable return on the investment.
(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu)