February 15, 2017 / 10:08 PM / a year ago

Australia's Star Entertainment posts record 1st-half net profit

SYDNEY, Feb 16 (Reuters) - Star Entertainment Group Ltd , Australia’s No. 2 casino operator, posted a record first-half net profit thanks to a higher than expected win rate, but warned turnover from offshore gamblers was down after a rival’s staff were arrested in China.

Net profit more than doubled to A$141.8 million for the six months through Dec. 31, 2016, higher than the A$118 million average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

But the company said turnover from international VIP customers - largely wealthy Asian gamblers visiting Australia - slid 27 percent in November and December following the arrest of 18 Crown Resorts Ltd staff in China in October. (Reporting by Byron Kaye, editing by G Crosse)

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