Make Kitco Your Homepage

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Macau casino owner Galaxy's profit surges, plans Philippine resort

Kitco News

(Makes clear that VIP revenues are for Galaxy Macau in 3rd paragraph)

* Strong VIP revenues boost earnings

* Company plans $500 million Philippine resort

HONG KONG, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group posted a 67 percent jump in full-year net profit as Chinese high rollers returned to the world's biggest casino hub.

Galaxy, one of six listed casino operators in the Chinese territory of Macau, the only place in the country where citizens are legally allowed to gamble, reported HK$10.5 billion ($1.34 billion) in net profit attributable to shareholders for 2017.

The company said VIP rolling chip volume, or betting volume by wealthy gamblers at its flagship casino Galaxy Macau, rose 27 percent to HK$621.5 billion last year. This translated to an 18 percent increase in revenue to HK$23.1 billion.

Galaxy said it was exploring opportunities in the Philippines to develop a beach resort on the Boracay Island. Galaxy currently does not operate any casinos outside Macau.

The company plans to spend around $500 million initially for the Philippines project, Deputy Chairman Francis Lui said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The company is positive on the prospects for its Macau casino licence ahead of the expirations for all six licensed operators which start in 2020, he said.

The Macau casino industry is recovering from a more than two-year decline that coincided with a government campaign against ostentatiousness among public officials.

Macau's overall market has grown over the past year, with new resorts intensifying competition for casino operators such as Wynn Macau Ltd , MGM China Holdings Ltd , SJM Holdings Ltd , Sands China Ltd and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd . ($1 = 7.8289 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Gopakumar Warrier)

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect those of Kitco Metals Inc. The author has made every effort to ensure accuracy of information provided; however, neither Kitco Metals Inc. nor the author can guarantee such accuracy. This article is strictly for informational purposes only. It is not a solicitation to make any exchange in commodities, securities or other financial instruments. Kitco Metals Inc. and the author of this article do not accept culpability for losses and/ or damages arising from the use of this publication.