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Genting Singapore Q1 net profit falls 5% on lower gaming revenue

INTEGRATED resort operator Genting Singapore on Thursday saw first-quarter net profit decline 5 per cent to S$205.5 million, as gaming revenue fell. 

Earnings per share for the first quarter ended March 31 stood at 1.7 Singapore cents, down from 1.8 cents last year. 

This came as first-quarter revenue dropped to S$640.4 million, down 5 per cent from the same period a year ago, alongside gaming revenue which also tumbled 8 per cent to S$430.2 million. 

Non-gaming revenue was up by 1 per cent to S$209.3 million with higher spend per visitor, said Genting, which operates Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in Singapore.

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According to Genting, its key attractions drew a daily average visitation of over 19,000, while hotel occupancy clocked in at 93 per cent during the quarter.

Genting in April said it has committed to investing around S$4.5 billion to revamp and expand RWS, including growing the Universal Studios Singapore park.

As part of the deal with the Singapore government for the expansion, the exclusivity period for the city-state's two casino-resorts was extended to 2030. However, the casino entry levies were also raised by 50 per cent each to S$150 for a day and S$3,000 for an annual pass.

Following that, investment bank Nomura cut Genting Singapore's earnings forecasts for the year, predicting volatile earnings. Nomura lowered its target price to S$1.27 from S$1.39 after switching methodology due to the expected earnings volatility, but kept a "buy" call.

Genting Singapore's shares closed unchanged at S$0.95 on Thursday before the results were announced.