Casino operator Genting Singapore has proposed a surprise interim dividend of 1.5 cents per share as its third-quarter earnings more than doubled. No dividend was declared in the same period a year earlier.
Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 rocketed to $106.9 million, from $37.2 million a year earlier.
But turnover slipped 9 per cent to $581.5 million, as gaming revenue sank 10 per cent to $407.4 million.
AT A GLANCE
NET PROFIT: $106.9 million (+187.2%)
REVENUE: $581.5 million (-9%)
DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 1.5 cents (None previously)
Genting Singapore said that Resorts World Sentosa delivered "a healthy set of results against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment". Quarter-on-quarter revenue there soared 21 per cent, due to a favourable performance of the attractions and hotel business, and an improved VIP rolling win percentage."Adjusted Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation) doubled as a result of increased revenue, improvement in operating margins arising from cost-efficiency initiatives implemented from the last quarter, as well as lower impairment of trade receivables," it said.
Earnings per share for the quarter came in at 0.89 cent, up from 0.31 cent previously. Net asset value per share stood at 60.4 cents as at Sept 30, slightly lower than the 61 cents as at Dec 31 last year. Net profit for the nine months to Sept 30 rose 29 per cent to $107.2 million, while revenue fell 10 per cent to $1.67 billion.
Genting Singapore said that its solid performance last quarter came on the back of its "ongoing committment to focus on better margin business and managing operational efficiency for better margins".
It said: "With the ongoing uncertainty in the gaming industry in Asia, we remain cautious of the VIP business. Since early this year, we have scaled down this business segment and the provision for bad debts related to this segment has consequently reduced. We will continue to see improved margins in this segment over the next few quarters... Together with a measured approach in the premium mass market, we are confident of a sustainable earnings growth into the next year."
Genting Singapore shares finished 1.5 cents or 2 per cent higher at 76 cents before results were released.