Genting Bhd. (GENT), which controls Asia’s second-biggest gaming company by market value, said fourth- quarter profit jumped 66 percent, with maiden revenue contributions from its New York City casino.
Net income surged to 772.9 million ringgit ($257 million), or 20.94 sen a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, from 465.4 million ringgit, or 12.57 sen per share, a year earlier, the company said in a filing to the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange today. Revenue climbed 24 percent to 5.06 billion ringgit on increased takings at its core Singapore, Malaysia and U.K. casinos and gaming resorts.
“The growth in the global gaming industry in 2011 was driven by key Asian markets,” the group said in its statement. “The economic challenges in Europe and the U.S. continue to cloud the short-term outlook of the Asian economies. Uncertain economic climate also presents some potentially attractive investment opportunities” for Genting Singapore Plc, it said.
The Kuala Lumpur-based group is extending its overseas reach from its roots as owner of Malaysia’s only casino resort. It opened a casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in New York City last quarter, where it also plans to build the country’s biggest convention center. Its Genting Malaysia Bhd. (GENM) unit has also pitched proposals for a $3.8 billion casino-and-hotel project in Miami. It’s already the U.K.’s biggest casino operator and owns Resorts World Sentosa, one of Singapore’s two gaming resorts.
Genting rose 1 percent to 10.54 ringgit at the close in Kuala Lumpur trading today before its earnings statement, compared with a 0.2 drop in the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index. (FBMKLCI) The stock has fallen 4.2 percent this year.
Profit was boosted by the reversal of a previous 308.6 million-ringgit impairment loss, Genting said. The group booked operating revenue of 95.3 million ringgit from its New York City casino, which marked its debut on Oct. 28.
“Resorts World Casino New York City’s performance has been encouraging since its initial opening,” Genting said.
The company has expanded into businesses that include palm oil and power generation to cushion swings in casino takings.
Genting’s plantations division saw profit contributions drop 13 percent to 124.1 million ringgit on lower product prices and higher costs. Pretax profit from power increased 3 percent to 157.1 million ringgit on higher energy tariffs in Malaysia and China, the company said.
-- Editors: Barry Porter, Garry Smith
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