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Casino operator’s winning streak continues

A tuk-tuk driver rests in front of the NagaWorld casino and hotel complex in Phnom Penh yesterday.
A tuk-tuk driver rests in front of the NagaWorld casino and hotel complex in Phnom Penh yesterday. Pha Lina

Casino operator’s winning streak continues

Nagacorp Ltd, the Cayman Islands-registered operator of Cambodia’s NagaWorld casino and hotel complex, recorded $153.8 million in gross gaming revenue during the first quarter of 2016, a 35 per cent increase over the same period last year.

The revenue growth was driven by an impressive 65 per cent increase in VIP rolling chip turnover, which topped $2.79 billion during the period, the company said in a voluntary filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday.

The unaudited first-quarter operational highlights also show mass electronic gaming machine (EGM) revenue at $381 million during the period, a 32 per cent year-on-year increase, while mass public floor table buy-ins increased to $149.8 million, up by 15 per cent year-on-year.

NagaCorp emphasised that the numbers “represent indications of business volumes” and did not constitute profit figures.

Michael Ting, a Hong Kong-based gaming research analyst for CIMB Securities, said the firm’s preliminary figures show another “overall solid quarter.”

He attributed NagaCorp’s continued revenue growth to “strong execution on all fronts,” adding that recent measures such as the implementation of table buy-ins and new contracts with junket operators to bring in more Chinese high-rollers were helping to increase volumes.

NagaWorld has reported strong VIP traffic growth as a result of its revenue-sharing contracts with junket operators.

“The overseas junket incentive program introduced in March 2013 has since enabled the group to increase existing table limits while managing volatility and credit risk,” the company said in a filing last February.

The firm posted a net profit of $172.6 million in 2015, a 27 per cent increase over the previous year, according to the filing. VIP year-on-year growth was 18.5 per cent in 2015, with a 2.8 per cent win rate generating $222.9 million.

NagaWorld, the only casino licensed to operate in Phnom Penh, had 287 gaming tables and 1,656 EGMS in place at the end of 2015.

NagaCorp shares closed up HK$0.40 yesterday at HK$5.23, an 8.28 per cent gain on heavy trading. The company’s shares remain below their HK$6.48 one-year high.

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