SkyCity Entertainment Group has reported a small revenue increase during the first four months of the financial year and insists full-year earnings will show “modest growth.” 

SkyCity chairman-elect Rob Campbell

SkyCity chairman-elect Rob Campbell says that full year growth will be modest following a positive four months of operation. (Image: Cameron Burnell/Fairfax NZ)

The casino operator, which has two venues in Australia and four in New Zealand, told attendees at the UBS Investor Conference in Sydney that group normalised revenue was up by 1.7 percent.

Thanks to a 3.1 percent improvement from SkyCity’s New Zealand businesses, the four months to October 31, 2017, showed a marginal improvement on the same period in 2016.

Aussie Casino Performing Well 

In addition to outlining a positive four months of operation during the November 13 presentation, representatives for the company said that fortunes in Adelaide are on the up. Despite revenue in Darwin taking a hit due to increased market pressure, SkyCity Adelaide saw revenue improve thanks to new state gaming concessions.

With its flagship Aussie casino continuing to perform well, SkyCity executives confirmed that the planned expansion project will go ahead at the start of 2018. The $330 million project will result in a 30 percent increase in gaming provisions as well as the addition of 123 hotel rooms and more entertainment options.  

As well as working to increase its domestic and international casino businesses, SkyCity is looking towards new ventures to help bolster its financial position. When chief executive Graeme Stephen officially took up his post in May 2017, he hinted that innovation and expansion would be on the agenda.

“SkyCity is an exciting, diverse, innovative organisation with a number of developments in the pipeline over the coming years, and plenty of potential beyond that,” Stephen told the press back in May.

SkyCity Looking to Diversify and Expand

One of the company’s more interesting ventures in recent months has been its foray into eSports. Online casino gaming and eSports have become increasingly more connected in the last two years and SkyCity has moved to take advantage of this in its own way.  

After taking a 40 percent stake in Let’s Play Live Media, the casino operator helped oversee the development of New Zealand’s first purpose-built eSports broadcasting studio. This diversification is something that’s helped SkyCity stave off any negative effects of China’s crackdown on gambling.

Although it hasn’t suffered the same problems as Crown Entertainment, chairman-elect Rob Campbell did tell attendees at the UBS conference that turnover in Asia was down on the previous period.

As the ripple effects of the Chinese government’s crackdown on gambling continues to reverberate across Australia and New Zealand, it seems more innovations will be needed to ensure the long-term profitability of SkyCity and its peers.