Thursday, July 30, 2009

NT sends casino earnings sky-high - 29th July 2009

Improved earnings at its Darwin casino has seen SkyCity Entertainment Group boost its profit forecasts for the last financial year.

Shares in the trans-Tasman company rose more than 7 per cent, up 16c to $2.46, as SkyCity upgraded its profit estimate to be between $113 million and $116 million for the year to June 30, up from $99 million to $106 million the previous year.

The company pointed to improved earnings at Darwin's Mindil Beach casino, Adelaide and Auckland for the rosy forecast.

Earnings are subject to an external audit with the full annual profit result due out on August 26.

"It has been a very pleasing fourth quarter and second half, with our operations in New Zealand and Australia performing above expectations," chief executive officer Nigel Morrison said in a statement sent to the stock exchange yesterday.

The Darwin Casino recently underwent a major redevelopment of its gaming room floor.

It also added a new upmarket restaurant - Il Piatto - and the popular Sandbar.

Mr Morrison said the Adelaide Casino was also a key performer underpinning improved results.

"It was coming off a very low base but we're very pleased with Adelaide's performance," he said.

"We're very pleased we kept Adelaide and we think it's got great potential."

The company expects its underlying and reported earnings, (EBITDA) for the 2009 year to be approximately $300 million.

SkyCity will update shareholders and investors with details of its 2009 result on August 26.

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