12 Aug 2015

More gaming machines needed - Sky City

2:55 pm on 12 August 2015

The head of SkyCity says the Auckland casino needs more gaming machines and tables to cater for the demand from local and foreign gamblers.

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Photo: 123rf

The Australasian casino operator made $128.7 million in the year to the end of June, an increase of 31 percent over the previous year.

It said normalised profit rose 9 percent to $134.1 million.

Revenue rose 12 percent to $917 million, due to a stronger result from its tables and restaurants at its flagship Auckland casino, which makes up about 80 percent of gross earnings.

The casino operator will also add hundreds more gaming concessions to its Auckland operation by the end of the year, as part of the deal to build the international convention centre.

The concessions - including 470 gambling machines and tables - will be activated once the company signs a building contract for the centre in October.

Chief executive Nigel Morrison said the Auckland business has been constrained by the cap on gaming machines.

"We're really making sure we've got that flexibility to meet demand - Auckland will continue to grow as an international city - and there is also the local demand."

Mr Morrison said the company was now seeking resource consent for the centre, to cost up to $470 million, with work expected to start at the end of the year.

Its high-roller business also did well, as it won more off high-spending Asian gamblers.

In Australia, its Adelaide casino grew at a slower rate due to higher operating costs from refurbishment work and flat gaming revenue.

The casino operator is considering raising money from retail investors to diversify its debt funding sources, as well as increase its debt funding headroom to more than $300 million.

The company declared a dividend of 10 cents a share.