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GuocoLeisure hotel revenue boosted by Olympics, Bass Strait royalty falls

Monday 15th October 2012

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GuocoLeisure posted an 8 percent gain in sales last quarter, helped by increased London hotel revenue during the Olympic Games, though a drop in the Bass Strait oil and gas royalty meant profit in the period fell 3.7 percent.

The Singapore-based company once known as Brierley Investments reported profit of US$23.2 million, or 1.8 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, from US$24.1 million, or 1.8 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose to US$104.5 million from US$96.8 million.

GuocoLeisure counts hotels as its biggest investment, made up of the five deluxe Guoman hotels in central London and 32 Thistle hotels throughout the UK. The hotels lifted sales during the Summer Olympics and enjoyed "continuing steady growth in the post-Olympics season."

The Bass Strait royalty dropped about 37 percent to US$12.3 million, mainly reflecting lower average oil and gas prices and a year-earlier one-time payment of US$5.4 million from the resolution of a royalty dispute.

"Contribution from the Bass Strait oil and gas royalty in Australia is expected to remain strong," the company said in the statement to the NZX. The ongoing sale of assets in its Fiji property arm, Tabua Investments, is "progressing satisfactorily" and initiatives are underway to lift the value of its 54,677 acre property on the Hawaiian island of Molokai that is in care and maintenance, it said.

"The euro-zone crisis and recession in the UK continue to have an adverse impact on the group's hospitality business" though the group as a whole "is expected to perform satisfactorily," it said.

Other income tumbled 38 percent to US$6.5 million, mainly due to reimbursement of expenses related to the royalty dispute.

The company's NZX-listed shares last traded at 63 cents and have gained 6.2 percent this year.

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