NagaCorp Reports 23 Percent Profit Growth

NagaCorp Ltd., the Hong Kong-listed company that runs Phnom Penh’s only licensed casino, saw its profits grow by 23 percent in 2012, the firm said in an announcement.

In its financial results for the year, re­leased Wednesday to the Hong Kong stock exchange, the company that owns NagaWorld casino said that it made a net profit of $113.1 million last year, up from $92 million in 2011. Still, the casino’s healthy profit growth in 2012 was modest in comparison to 2011, when it more than doubled.

Revenues at the casino also went up by about a quarter, reaching $278.8 million in 2012, according to the results.

In the part of the business that brings in the most revenue, junkets and VIP gamblers, a massive $3.79 billion was gambled by 25,090 high rollers in 2012, who gambled an average of $150,000 each during their visits to the casino.

The casino took $94.9 million in revenue from junkets and VIP gamblers, with this good performance “a re­sult of further market pen­etration into the group’s traditional VIP markets of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thai­land, China and Vietnam.” Cam­bodians are not legally permitted to gamble.

In the filing, NagaCorp records an expenditure of just more than $9 million on “the acquisition of an aircraft,” which is thought to be in ad­­dition to a Gulfstream 200 private jet that the company currently keeps at Phnom Penh’s airport.

The government has been criticized by the opposition for not col­lecting enough revenue from the country’s casinos.

NagaCorp paid $4.48 million in taxes in 2012, about 4 percent as a proportion of the profits made by the casino, which holds the exclusive right to operate in Phnom Penh and the surrounding area.

Work began in November on Naga2, a $369 million project to build another hotel and casino—and a new building to house the Na­tional Elec­tion Committee—across the street from the Naga­World complex. The project is en­tirely funded by NagaCorp executive director Chen Lip Keong and not from NagaCorp’s own cash, according to the filing.

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