February 26, 2009 / 10:29 AM / 9 years ago

Malaysia's Genting Q4 net loss $33 mln

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Malaysian conglomerate Genting (GENT.KL) reported a 120.8 million ringgit ($32.90 million) net loss in the fourth-quarter, hit by an impairment loss at its cruise business.

It earned 514.44 million in the year-ago period.

The company expects the global economic crisis to hit its casino business in Malaysia and United Kingdom as well as its power utility operations in China, it said in an earnings statement on Thursday.

Full-year net profit more than halved to 569.3 million ringgit from 1.99 billion ringgit a year ago, much worse than the 1.351 billion ringgit market consensus compiled by Reuters Estimates.

A deepening economic crisis in Asia and Europe will hit Genting hard.

The company owns Genting Highlands, the sole casino resort in mainly Muslim Malaysia where the economy is heading for its steepest downturn in eight years.

    Stanley Leisure, Britain’s largest casino operator which the Malaysian company controls, will have a tough time too with the UK economy now engulfed by the worst recession that hasn’t been seen in many decades.

    Genting is going to launch a new casino resort in neighbouring Singapore in 2010.

    Genting’s power operations in China and oil palm plantation in Malaysia and Indonesia are expected to slow down sharply too due to a weakening demand from factories to consumers.

    Genting shares slid 29.52 percent during the October to December quarter, underperforming the benchmark share index’s loss of 13.93 percent.

    The stock ended down 1.67 percent to 3.54 ringgit before the release of the results. (Reporting by Soo Ai Peng; Editing by Varsha Tickoo)

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