India’s Delta Corp posts marginal Q2 profit rise; brings in new finance chief

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian casino operator Delta Corp reported a marginal 1.7% rise in second-quarter profit on Wednesday, helped by a fall in tax expenses.

The Pune-based firm’s consolidated net profit for the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 694.4 million Indian rupees ($8.35 million) from 682.5 million rupees a year earlier, it said in an exchange filing.

The company’s tax expenses in the quarter fell 7.4%, making way for profits as total revenue stayed flat with a 0.2% rise to 2.71 billion rupees.

Revenue from its key casino gaming division was up 3.4%, while its revenue from its smaller online skill gaming division – which includes poker and rummy games – fell nearly 14%.

In April this year, Delta said it wanted to focus on attracting retail customers and position itself as “a family destination” as the revenue contribution from big-ticket gambling, which the company called a “high-rolling business”, was “very miniscule”.

Costs excluding tax expenses rose 1.8% on the back of a 3.3% rise in licence fees and registration charges.

Earlier this year, India’s nascent $1.5 billion online gaming industry came under tight scrutiny as the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council imposed a 28% tax on funds from customers on each bet but partially walked back the tax later. The new tax came into effect on Oct. 1.

Delta Corp on Wednesday appointed Anil Malani as the new Chief Financial Officer of the company, replacing Hardik Dhebar, who had stepped down in August.

Delta’s shares closed 0.5% up on Wednesday.

($1 = 83.1400 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Hritam Mukherjee and Ashish Chandra in Bengaluru; Editing by Janane Venkatraman)