SkyCity on losing side

RICHARD MEADOWS
Last updated 14:35 19/10/2012
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SkyCity has taken a hit in over recent months as its foreign high-stakes rollers won large at the tables.

The casino and entertainment group reported a 2.1 per cent fall in overall revenue, down $6.2 million, in the three-and-a-half months to October 17 at its annual general meeting today.

The drop was attributed to a ''softer win rate'' in the International Business division, where turnover has soared more than 40 per cent in the year to date.

Revenue in Auckland was down 4.9 per cent, from $153.7m to $146. SkyCity put that down to the one-off Rugby World Cup boost last year, which contributed about $7m, and a change in gaming systems.

Meanwhile, revenues at the group's Australian, Hamilton, Christchurch and Queenstown operations were all up. The company said on a normalised basis its revenue stood at $288.5m for July 1 to October 17, up 1.5 per cent on the same period last year.

Chief executive Nigel Morrison said it was pleasing to see growth continuing given the previous year saw record earnings for the group.

''We have invested in a number of key areas of our business, with particular focus on our international VIP customers in Auckland and now in Darwin and also in creating the award-winning restaurant precinct in Federal Street,'' he said.

''It's great to see these investments really paying off.''

Although SkyCity said it sensed the economic outlook was flat and uncertain, it expected normalised profit to be ''in the $140 millions'' for the year ending June 30, 2013.

It expected its flagship Auckland properties, including Horizon, Eight and Federal Street eateries, to continue to benefit from capital investments.

Based on current momentum, it anticipated that Hamilton and other New Zealand operations would continue to grow revenue.

First half results for the 2013 year will be available on February 13.

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- BusinessDay.co.nz

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