This is despite persistent competition from illegal operators and the rising cost of living putting pressure on the group’s gaming revenues.
In the nine months period to Sept 30, gaming revenue fell 2.5% to RM1.97bil, as competition from illegal sales operators and weak consumer spending resulted in a poor sales performance in the first quarter of the financial year.
The gaming operator mitigated the revenue decline with lower prize payouts and recorded pre-tax profit growth of 8.3% to RM225.3mil during the period.
In its announcement, the gaming operator said taking into account the impact of the poor results of the first quarter, gaming revenue for the current year is expected to be lower than that of the previous year.
In the nine months period, the group’s investment holdings division recorded a pre-tax loss of RM5mil year-to-date compared to a profit RM1.9mil in the previous year period.
“This is mainly due to fair value loss of quoted investments recognised in the current period as opposed to fair value gain of quoted investments recorded in the previous year period,” it said.
The group declared a second interim dividend of four sen with entitlement and payment dates on Dec 18 and 29, 2017, respectively.