Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp Ltd has affirmed its intention to pay a final dividend for 2017 of US$0.0145 per share.
The company said in its annual report filed on Thursday that the proposed final dividend – due to be approved at the annual general meeting on April 27 and payable on or about May 17, would – when combined with an interim dividend of US$0.0208 per share already settled – represent a dividend payout ratio for the 12 months of approximately 60 percent.
Hong Kong-listed NagaCorp is the operator of NagaWorld (pictured), the only casino resort in Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.
In February NagaCorp reported 2017 net profit up 38.6 percent from the previous year. Revenue for the period increased by 79.8 percent.
The company said in the management discussion and analysis section of its annual report that “as a consequence of the strengthening balance sheet,” its casino players were “expressing more confidence, checking in more money, placing higher bets and generating a significant increase in business volume”. This was “especially” the case in the VIP segment, where rolling chip turnover increased 142 percent for the year, said the firm.
In February, Macau junket operator Suncity Group – said by investment analysts to be one of the largest VIP gambling organisers in Macau – stated it would be opening VIP facilities at Naga 2, an extension to the NagaWorld operation in Phnom Penh that opened in November .
In other commentary in the report, the chairman Tim McNally said that the group’s plan for a casino resort in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone near Vladivostok in the Russian Far East remained “broadly on schedule” for operation by 2019.
“We believe our strategy to diversify our business geographically and expand into new casino markets will drive revenue growth in the long term,” noted the chairman.
At the opening of Naga 2, the group’s chief executive Chen Lip Keong said that the Naga brand had ambitions for several casino operations at strategic points, including places close to China border areas, curving around that country “as a dragon”.
In other developments on Thursday, NagaCorp said that Philip Lee Wai Tuck – an executive director and its chief financial officer – was being promoted to executive deputy chairman with effect from that date.
“The company’s gross gaming revenue having increased to approximately US$1 billion for the year ended 31 December 2017 and with the market capitalisation of the company having increased to approximately US$4.4 billion as at 12 March 2018, the company would like to focus on the realignment and strengthening of its senior management in order to meet with the higher aspirations and further growth of the company,” NagaCorp stated in that filing.
Mr Lee’s successor as CFO as of the same date was named in the same filing as being Tan Sean Czoon. Mr Tan joined NagaCorp in 2013 and was previously vice president of business development. Before that he was an asset manager for the Deutsche Bank group, based in Hong Kong.
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”Assuming that our [Tigre de Cristal] phase two project and the other future operators’ development plans remain on track, we may see the benefits of a ‘cluster’ effect [in the Primorye Integrated Entertainment Zone] as early as 2021”
Summit Ascent, lead developer of Tigre de Cristal