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Business

Genting's Q2 net profit up on Malaysia, UK gaming operations

KUALA LUMPUR -- Genting, the Malaysian entertainment conglomerate, said on Thursday that net profit for the second quarter ended in June was up 334% year-on-year to 294.7 million ringgit ($73.25 million), aided by its leisure and plantation businesses.

Genting announced a 1.4% growth in revenue to 4.23 billion ringgit in the quarter over the same period last year, according to a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the local stock market.

In the second quarter, the casino division, which contributes the bulk of revenues, or 85.7% of Genting's business, saw total revenues increase by 4% to 3.62 billion ringgit.

Resorts World Sentosa, the group's Singaporean gaming business, which contributes the most to the overall casino segment at 39%, saw revenue decline 10% to 1.4 billion ringgit due to the "low win percentage" from its premium market.

This low revenue was offset by second quarter gains from Genting's other casino operations around the world. Revenue increased in Malaysia (to 55.3 million ringgit, a rise of 4%), in the U.K. (to 208.8 million ringgit, or a leap of 71%), as well as in the U.S. and the Bahamas (to 40.7 million ringgit -- a gain of 13%). These improvements were in part due to higher contributions from premium players, more effective marketing and a rise in business volumes.

Genting's businesses include plantations, power, property, as well as oil and gas. Its combined palm oil plantation businesses, which are spread across Malaysia and Indonesia, saw revenue grow by 4% to 262.6 million ringgit for the second quarter ended in June. Genting said its palm oil plantation business improved due to higher palm oil sale prices, despite lower yields.

For the first half of 2016, Genting's total revenue rose 5%, mainly boosted by a 59% jump at the U.K. casino business (which rose to 1 billion ringgit) and a 42% jump in revenues in its power operations, to 558.4 million ringgit.

Looking ahead, the group is expecting to focus on its Genting Integrated Tourism Plan at Genting Malaysia, which involves revitalizing Resorts World Genting over a 10-year period by adding new facilities and entertainment options. It is also counting on initiatives like the contactless mobile payment services offered to its gaming clients from China courtesy of its partnership between Genting Singapore and Alipay, the payment gateway formerly owned by Chinese media group Alibaba, to lure in premium travelers.

Commenting on the results, Lim Tee Yang from Affin Hwang Capital, said: "We believe the group's earnings growth momentum would depend on the speed of recovery in consumer sentiment and commodity prices." He added that he believes domestic gaming operations would "continue to underpin earnings".

Genting comprises five publicly-listed companies on the Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges, namely Genting, Genting Malaysia, Genting Plantations, Genting Singapore and Genting Hong Kong. The combined market capitalization of all its companies was around 100 billion ringgit as of Aug 25.

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