As it benefits from improved trading, first-half profits are expected to rise as much as 30 percent for New Zealand’s only listed casino company, SkyCity Entertainment Group.

The company cited lower funding costs, improved trading in its New Zealand casinos in Hamilton, Auckland and Queenstown, and reduced costs at its struggling Adelaide property for the increase. Expected to exceed $7 billion for the period, another contributor was higher turnover from ‘high roller’ gamblers fleeing Macau for offering in New Zealand and Australia, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

SkyCity expects its net income to increase by 30 percent to $NZ71 million for the first half of 2016’s financial year which ended on the last day of December compared with the same period last year, while normalized earnings before tax, interest, amortization and depreciation may spike by 17 percent to $NZ180 million.

For much of 2015 falling global diary prices fueled fears of a rapid slowing of New Zealand’s economy. However, in the last few months stronger than expected growth helped by increased tourist numbers aided the rise in activity for the gambling company. The Darwin casino is also run by SkyCity, but in December noted that while in the last few years the city had experienced boom-like economic growth, recently it had begun to drop-off.

Skycity is expected to release its results sometime today. Meanwhile, company shares fell 4¢ to $4.11 today.

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