Tourism operator & developer Straco Corp's Q3 net profit soars 67.3% to $22.6 million

HIGHER visitor numbers to Straco Corporation's three attractions has rocketed earnings and turnover for its third quarter.

Net profit for the mainboard-listed tourism operator and developer soars 67.3 per cent to $22.58 million for the three months to Sept 30.

Turnover in the same period rose 43.3 per cent to $30.52 million from the preceding year.

Straco Corp runs the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, Underwater World Xiamen as well as the Lintong Lixing Cable Car in China.

Visitor arrivals to the ocean aquarium and underwater world attraction jumped 33.4 per cent to 1.26 million in the quarter.

Executive chairman Wu Hsioh Kwang said on Tuesday, "We are very pleased with another record performance for the quarter, with both our visitor numbers and earnings registering double digit growth over the corresponding period."

Straco added that the first China Tourism Law, which incldes measures to address unfair competition and forced shopping trips, came into effect on Oct 1.

Forced shopping trips are organised by agencies which offer cheap tours, but recoup their costs from commissions in partner shops they bring tourists to.

"The new law is expected to have an impact on the travel industry and could increase higher-yielding free independent travellers to our tourism attractions," it said.

Earnings per share increased from 1.05 cents a year earlier to 1.81 cents, while net asset value per share rose 2.66 cents to 18.23 cents from Dec 31 last year.

Before the results were announced, Straco shares closed 3.5 cents up at 43.5 cents.