Annual profit at South Korea’s Grand Korea Leisure Co Ltd (GKL) – an operator of foreigner-only casinos in that country – fell 6.9 percent to just under KRW72.40 billion (US$61.2 million). That was on calendar-year 2019 sales that rose 2.2 percent year-on-year, to KRW490.75 billion, from KRW480.34 billion.
In early January, GKL had told the Korea Exchange that its total 2019 casino revenue had risen modestly. Aggregate casino sales had been KRW493.10 billion. Table revenue for the period was KRW434.02 billion, up 2.1 percent from full-year 2018, while machine revenue increased by 2.7 percent year-on-year, to KRW59.08 billion.
In Tuesday’s announcement, GKL said fourth-quarter profit for the three months ending December 31, actually rose 167.5 percent year on year, to just above KRW18.31 billion, from just under KRW6.85 billion in the prior-year period. That was via quarterly sales that rose 17 percent, to nearly KRW130.85 billion, from just under KRW111.84 billion.
The group – a unit of the Korea Tourism Organization – didn’t give any commentary in its Tuesday summary regarding the reason for the final-quarter improvement in profit and sales.
The casino-operating entity runs three foreigner-only casinos in South Korea under the Seven Luck brand: two in the capital Seoul and one in the southern port city of Busan.
GKL’s operating income for 2019 fell 7.9 percent, to just under KRW96.80 billion, from KRW105.06 billion a year earlier. Quarterly operating income went up 181.5 percent year-on-year, to nearly KRW22.77 billion, from slightly below KRW8.09 billion.
In a separate Tuesday filing, GKL said it proposed to pay an annual dividend – amounting in total to KRW32.72 billion – to shareholders that were registered as of December 31 last year. The group is due to hold a board meeting on March 26 that is expected to ratify the proposal.
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