Kangwon Land Inc, the operator of the only casino resort in South Korea where the country’s nationals are allowed to gamble, reported net profit for the first quarter of 2015 of KRW132.3 billion (US$121.4 million), up by 24.9 percent from a year earlier.
The growth in net profit for the three months to March 31 was supported by a 14.8-percent year-on-year increase in gaming revenue to KRW395.7 billion, the firm said in a filing.
Gaming revenue accounted for 93 percent of the company’s total revenue of KRW425.4 billion for the period. Revenue from non-casino services grew by 4.4 percent from a year earlier to KRW29.7 billion.
There are currently 17 casinos in South Korea, but Korean nationals are only allowed to gamble at Kangwon Land Casino (pictured), 150 kilometres (93 miles) southeast of Seoul in Kangwon province.
Kangwon Land could see its revenue and its operating profit for 2015 rise by roughly 11 percent in each case, “helped by effective control of selling, general and administrative costs and the absence of one-off costs,” said a note from Daiwa Securities Group Inc in March.
For full-2014, Kangwon Land reported net profit of KRW359.3 billion, up by 20.8 percent from the previous year.
South Korea’s gambling and lottery industry in 2014 posted its ninth consecutive year of year-on-year sales growth.
Rival casino operator Paradise Co Ltd reported net profit of KRW40.5 billion for the first quarter of 2015, down by 20.5 percent year-on-year. Paradise currently runs five foreigners-only casinos in South Korea: one in the capital Seoul; one in Incheon near the capital’s international airport; one in the southern city of Busan and two on the island of Jeju.
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Non-executive chairman of Donaco International