India’s Delta Corp sees significant rise in quarterly profits

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This quarter has seen Delta Corp, India’s largest and only listed casino operator, betting on inorganic growth as it heads out on the acquisitions trail seeking to expand into the online market.


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]ndia’s sole listed gambling operator, Delta Corp, has released its financial results for July to September period which show that its consolidated income from gaming operations rose by 45.8 percent year-on-year, reaching INR1.24bn (E17m).

The company also posted a 680 percent jump year-on-year in net profit after tax and minority interests for the three months to the end of September to INR322.5m (E4.4m).

The gaming and hospitality company holds three of Goa’s six issued offshore gaming licences, and their  wholly owned subsidiary, Delta Pleasure Cruise Company runs the floating Deltin Royale, Deltin Jaqk and Deltin Caravela casinos on the state’s Mandovi River.

Additionally Delta Corp runs an integrated casino resort in Daman, and three luxury hotel properties in Goa: Deltin Suites, Deltin Palms and Villa Marina by Deltin.

The Mumbai-based corporation, controlled by entrepreneur Jaydev Mody, announced earlier in the year that it had reached an agreement to operate a casino in the small landlocked Indian state of Sikkim, on the India/China border.

At present Goa, Daman and Sikkim are the only Indian regions that allow some form of gambling, and in July the firm stated that it had obtained a provisional licence under the Sikkim Casinos Control & Tax Act of 2002 to operate a casino in the Denzong Regency Hotel in the state capital, Gangtok.

“It is a hotel which is owned by someone else; I am only putting up a casino [so] there are no major costs,” said Hardik Dhebar, Delta Corp’s CFO, speaking to Moneycontrol. “It is a very small investment from that perspective [and with] no major cost it will only boost to the topline.

“It is a small market compared to Goa to begin with but it can do anywhere between INR3-5 crore (E410,000-684,000) a month.”

The company already has two existing casinos in Sikkim, Casino Sikkim in Hotel Royal Plaza and Casino Mahjong in the Mayfair resort.

This quarter also saw the company make its first foray into online gambling with the E6.4m purchase of a 26 percent stake in Gauss Networks, operator of India’s largest poker site, which became a subsidiary of Delta following the purchase in August.

In late September rumours surfaced that Delta Corp is in exploratory talks with Head Infotech, looking to acquire online rummy website

A report from news channel ET Now, suggested that the hospitality company could pay out between E73-90m in a stock and cash deal for the rummy site, however neither party has confirmed this.

“Growth is a continuous process and with adda52 we didn’t ever say that we will stop growing,” Dhebar added. “So, whether it is organic-inorganic all modes of growth are always on the horizon …if something right comes our way at the right valuations we will definitely look at it.”

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