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Genting Singapore Q1 profit surges 77% on higher gambling revenue

Genting earned S$257.6 million in the three months ended March, up from S$145.4 million in the same period a year ago.

SINGAPORE: Genting Singapore -- the owner of Resorts World Sentosa -- on Monday posted a 77 per cent rise in first quarter net profit, boosted by a surge in gambling revenue and higher win percentage against high-rollers who patronised its casino.

Genting earned S$257.6 million in the three months ended March, up from S$145.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Resorts World recorded a 29 per cent jump in gaming revenue to S$671.9 million during the quarter, helped by a higher rolling volume and a better win percentage in the premium segment.

In contrast, non-gaming revenues -- which includes income from hotels and the Universal Studio theme park -- rose by a much smaller 6 per cent year-on-year to S$156.4 million.

Genting said its hotels managed a high occupancy rate of 92 per cent during the quarter with an average room rate of S$409.

On its expansion plans in the region, Genting said it is seeking regulatory approval for a casino resort in South Korea's Jeju Island, worth some S$2.5 billion.

It is targeting to start construction in July, and have a soft opening of its hotel and facilities by early 2017.

Despite the improved performance, Genting's gaming revenue continued to lag behind rival Marina Bay Sands, which benefits from having a location that is much closer to Singapore's city centre.

Las Vegas Sands -- the owner of Marina Bay Sands -- last month reported US$680.4 million (S$850 million) in gaming revenue from its Singapore casino during the January-March quarter -- an increase of 6.3 per cent from a year ago.

Marina Bay Sands occupancy for its hotels was 99.3 per cent during the period, while the average room rate was US$428 a night. 

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