] Casino operator GKL
beat the fourth-quarter market consensus with 39.1 billion won (US$33.04 million) operating profit last year, estimated Korea Investment and Securities on Jan. 12.
“The number of absolute customers, or net card-carrying visitors, increased 7 percent on-year in the fourth quarter,” said analyst Choi Min-ha.
“That of Japanese customers in particular jumped 14.4 percent as inbound tourism from Japan turned upward for the first time in four years.”
This year, however, GKL’s earnings will be hurt by a competitor’s new casino complex, pointed out the analyst. Its revenue will fall 4.7 percent to 518.6 billion won and operating profit 14.1 percent to 126.5 billion won from the same period last year, estimated Choi.
“It is expected to focus on defending its profitability through cutting operation costs while minimizing the business volume,” said the analyst, maintaining a “neutral” rating.
By Hwang You-mee (firstname.lastname@example.org