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GuocoLeisure FY profit falls 43 percent on smaller Bass Strait royalty, more tax

Friday 30th August 2013

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GuocoLeisure, the diversified investment company once known as Brierley Investments, reported a 43 percent decline in full-year profit after getting a reduced Bass Strait oil and gas royalty and paying more tax.

Profit fell to US$43.6 million in the 12 months ended June 30, from US$77 million a year earlier, the Singapore-based company said in a statement. Revenue climbed 2.8 percent to $380.3 million, while the Bass Strait royalty fell about 17 percent to US$44.6 million.

The drop in royalty, which comes from oil and gas produced by BHP Billiton in the Bass Strait via interests held by Guocoleisure's Bass Strait Oil Trust, reflected lower average crude oil prices and a one-time gain a year earlier, it said.

The company's hotel division, which operates the Guoman and Thistle hotel chains in the UK and Malaysia, lifted annual revenue by 4.6 percent to US$367 million, helped by demand generated by the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Earnings before financing costs rose to US$52.6 million from US$50 million

Gaming revenue, from the members-only Clermont Club casino in Mayfair, London, fell to US$9.6 million from US$14.4 million, widening its loss to US$2.8 million from US$200,000.

Property development revenue fell to US$3.4 million from US$4 million, widening its loss to US$1.4 million from US$1.3 million on lower sales of development properties at its Tabua Investments arm in Denarau, Fiji.

The company plans to sell Tabua's investment properties and eventually exit Fiji, while its other property asset, the 54,677 acre Molokai Properties ranch in Hawaii, has been closed since 2008.

The company paid income tax of US$15.5 million, up from US$1.3 million a year earlier.

Because it was once New Zealand stock exchange-listed Brierley Investments, GuocoLeisure still has shares that trade on the NZX. They were last at 72 cents and have gained 24 percent in the past 12 months, about matching the NZX 50 Index.

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