SkyCity Rises Most in 15 Months on Upbeat Earnings Forecast

SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd. rose the most in 15 months after the company said first-half earnings surged as much as 30 percent.

Net income jumped to as much as NZ$71 million ($46 million) in the six months ended Dec. 31, the Auckland-based casino operator said Tuesday, citing preliminary figures. The stock advanced 5.9 percent, headed for its best gain since Oct. 20, 2014.

SkyCity said first-half earnings were boosted by growth in turnover in its international business unit, which caters for high-roller gamblers, to more than NZ$7 billion. The company was also able to achieve savings at its Adelaide casino and reduce funding costs, it said.

The stock rose 24 cents to NZ$4.40 at 1:30 p.m. in Wellington.

Normalized profit, which adjusts for volatility in the win rate for the international business and one-time items, jumped as much as 29 percent in the first half, SkyCity said. Normalized earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization gained as much as 17 percent to NZ$180 million. Final first-half results are due Feb. 11.

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