Genting Malaysia Q1 profit rises, but says outlook challenging

Genting Malaysia posted higher Q1 revenue and profit, helped by its businesses in the U.S. and Bahamas, but warned of an uneven economic outlook across the markets in which it operates and said the gaming environment is challenging.

Revenue rose 3 percent to RM2.1 billion ($575 million), with a RM57.2 million contribution from its casino business in New York and its Resorts World Bimini property in the Bahamas. Revenue also gained in Malaysia but its U.K. operations saw a drop of RM25.8 million.

Pre-tax profit was up 3 percent to RM475.2 million.

“Regional gaming operators in Macau and Singapore continue to see a slowdown in gaming revenues as the Asian premium players market remains challenging,” Genting Malaysia said in a statement.

The group said overall the outlook for tourism in 2015 was positive, although growth was likely to be at a slower pace than in 2014.

However, the implementation of a Goods and Services Tax in Malaysia is expected to affect both revenue and earnings for the remainder of the year.

It said work to upgrade its Resorts World Genting property are proceeding well, with about one third of the rooms in its 1,300 First World Hotel Tower 2a now open. The remaining rooms will be available by mid-2015.

Other attractions will come on line in phases from mid-2016, it said.

The Genting group as a whole, which also owns plantation businesses, reported net profit for the January-March quarter climbed to 620 million ringgit  from 497.5 million ringgit in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue was down 6.9 percent to 4.37 billion ringgit.