KUALA LUMPUR (May 29): Genting Bhd’s net profit for the first quarter ended March 31,2014, rose 25% to RM497.53 million, from RM397.84 million in similar quarter a year ago, due to higher earnings from most divisions.

Revenue for the quarter rose to RM4.69 billion, from RM3.91 billion a year ago, Genting Bhd said in a press statement.

The group said that its increase in profit arose mainly from the higher adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) recorded by the respective divisions.

Its gaming business of Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore registered strong revenue growth in the current quarter on the back of higher rolling volume and win percentage in the premium player business.

Higher volume of business and higher hold percentage in the premium players business of Resorts World Genting (RWG) in Malaysia also contributed to its higher revenue this current quarter.

“The higher revenue and lower costs relating to the premium players business, offset by higher payroll costs, contributed to the higher adjusted EBITDA,” the major gaming/leisure group said

Genting said its casino business in the United Kingdom (UK) generated a higher volume of business and higher hold percentage from its London operations.

Higher revenue from the leisure and hospitality business in the United States of America (US) and Bahamas was mainly due to the commencement of operations of Resorts World Bimini in Bahamas. But it reported lower adjusted EBITDA. Resorts World Casino New York City recorded lower adjusted EBITDA due to higher payroll costs.

For its palm oil division, stronger palm product selling prices and higher FFB production in Indonesia in the quarter contributed to higher revenue from the plantation division.

Its power division reported increased revenue in the current quarter mainly due to construction revenue of the 660MW coal-fired Banten Plant in Indonesia.

For its property division, lower revenue and adjusted EBITDA from the property division was mainly attributable to lower sales from Genting Indahpura development. The previous year’s corresponding quarter’s revenue had included a one-off industrial land sale.

On prospects, the group said Genting Malaysia’s (GENM) plans to reinvigorate and transform RWG are currently in progress. GENM is working to mitigate the effects of the closures of its facilities by introducing new and exciting attractions and events.

For Singapore, Genting Singapore (GENS) will closely monitor the economic developments as the environment appears to be more challenging. “Operational profitability remains its priority,” the group said

In the UK, the GENM Group will look to continue to expand its premium player business in the London casinos and continue the revitalisation of its domestic casino business.

“Resorts World Birmingham is well on track and is anticipated to open in spring 2015,” the group said.

In the US, the GENM Group will continue its innovative measures to grow visitations to RWNYC and expand customer databases.

“The planning process for a mixed-use development at the former Miami Herald site is currently in progress,” it said.

The group added that for its operations in Bahamas, it looks forward to the completion of the new luxury hotel and a deep water jetty in the second half of 2014 that is expected to increase visitations to Bimini.

Looking ahead for its power division, Genting Bhd said the Banten Power Plant in West Java, Indonesia, will contribute to the overall performance of the division.

It added that its operations in India are expected to improve in view of the approaching high wind season from May to August.

The group expects its Meizhou Wan power plant transaction to be completed in second half of 2014;

On prospects for its palm oil division, Genting Bhd said the growth in Indonesian production is expected to continue to be the main driver of overall production improvements for Genting Plantations Bhd.

On prospects of its oil & gas division, the group said it has completed the drilling of seven wells in West Papua. “Well testing is being prepared to assess the oil and gas potential in Asap-4X and Kido-1X wells. Drilling has commenced in 2 new prospects,” said Genting Bhd.

Business & Markets

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