February 28, 2017 / 8:50 AM / 5 months ago

Macau's Galaxy Entertainment posts 51 pct rise in 2016 net profit

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HONG KONG, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group posted a 51 percent rise in 2016 net profit, beating estimates, and reflecting added momentum for a recovery at the world's biggest gambling hub that had been hit by China's corruption crackdown and slowing economy.

For the full year, Galaxy reported a net profit of HK$6.28 billion ($809 million), up from HK$4.16 billion in 2015. That compared with an average forecast of HK$5.96 billion from 19 analysts polled by Reuters.

Galaxy, one of the six listed casino operators in the Chinese territory of Macau, had been hit by sagging demand from high-roller Chinese gamblers, although analysts have called a bottom to the industry as new casinos helped draw mass gamblers.

The former Portuguese colony, now a special administrative region belonging to China, is the only place in the country where citizens are legally allowed to gamble. ($1 = 7.7616 Hong Kong dollars) (Reporting By Anne Marie Roantree; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Subhranshu Sahu)

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